On Wednesday, July 6, the Executive Director of Community Lifeline Center (CLC), Christine Hockin-Boyd, announced that the Center has received a grant through the Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veteran’s Assistance, which provides grants to organizations serving veterans and their families.
Sitting at the same tables where the individuals CLC serves attend educational classes, Hockin-Boyd, Case Manager Delphia Adeogun and the newly hired Chris Hendricks, who will oversee the veteran’s program, are grinning from ear to ear. It is clear that women are delighted with the news.
Pictured from left: Delphia Adeogun,
Chris Hendricks, Christine Hockin-Boyd
“We are very excited! With the support of individual, corporate and government donations and grants, we help nearly 4,000 area families in crisis each year. Thanks to the Texas Veteran’s Commission, we can now also focus on our courageous veterans who are managing the demands, and sometimes unexpected crises, of civilian life. There are approximately 45,000 veterans in Collin County and we will first focus on those veterans who would already meet the qualifications for applying for assistance with CLC,” Hockin-Boyd said.
The grant will allow CLC, the only Collin County agency who received the grant, to assist veterans from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. The funding enables CLC to assist veterans, their survivors or their dependents, with housing, utilities, counseling, medical, dental, prescriptions, transportation, legal, food, clothing/shoes, job skills and financial training. Counseling for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and job skills training are just two of the many ways that veterans of all ages can receive help.
Hockin-Boyd also noted that it is important for the community at large to understand that this program will not replace the assistance program for families in crisis that is currently in place. The grant will simply allow CLC to broaden their scope and assist more families who are in need.
The 45,000 number does not include the spouses or family members of veterans. Family members also have to deal with problems that directly affect veterans. Problems such as PTSD, assimilation back into the community and family after being gone, a high rate of divorce or alcohol and drug addiction add to the stress placed on a veteran’s family.
Hendricks, who was a military wife for 20 years, understands first hand some of the issues that the families of those who serve face. A social worker, who received her degree in 1999, Hendricks is also a certified drug and alcohol counselor. She will oversee the funding and build collaboration within the community with the goal of finding partners who can fill such needs as counseling, eye glasses, dentistry.
What immediate need does Hendricks see that veterans have?
“Counseling. There is a separation issue and an re-adjustment issue that is incredible. It’s very hard to adjust to coming back, as well as the spouse (or father) leaving. That’s why counseling is important,” Hendricks explained.
As excited as the staff at CLC is about receiving the grant, they are also realistic in the challenges that they face. Hockin-Boyd explained that the funding is a reimbursable grant, meaning that they did not receive a lump sum of money that they get to spend. Instead, CLC documents what they spend on the veteran’s program on a monthly basis and request reimbursement from the Texas Veteran’s Commission for the funds.
“This presents us with a cash flow problem,” Hockin-Boyd said. “We don’t have lots of cash lying in our account, so we are going to have to rely on businesses and private donors to assist with the cash flow. We are working on creative ways to make that happen.”
What are each of these women most excited about?
“The chance to help a family avoid having to live somewhere under a bridge – if there is something we can do to get them (veterans) back to some type of civility,” commented Adeogun.
“I think that veterans have given so much for their country,” added Hendricks. “This is our chance to recognize and support their dependents and families, who are trying to maintain some semblance of order.”
Hockin-Boyd said, “I think of the children, the young moms, the spouses, those who often get left out – this is an opportunity for us to care for and support the children of those moms or dads who are either away, or who have come home and are dealing with not have an arm any more.”
Describing CLC as the premier place where our community can support others with their dollars and with their relationships, Hockin-Boyd said she hopes that our residents and businesses will see the opportunities to make a difference through CLC.
Veterans, or North Collin County families who are experiencing a crisis, are encouraged to contact Community Lifeline Center online at www.communitylifeline.org or call 972.542.0020 to learn more about their services.
In order to qualify for assistance from CLC, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a resident of Altoga, Anna, Blue Ridge, Celina, Copeville, Farmersville, Josephine, Lavon, Lowry Crossing, McKinney, Melissa, Nevada, New Hope, Princeton, Prosper, Westminster or Weston.
- Reside a minimum of 90 days at current address
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- The ability to provide crisis documentation
- Provide documentation for all income, expenses and crisis.
- Provide identification for all household members
- Have a viable plan or be willing to create a viable plan with a case manager.
Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis.
About Community Lifeline Center: CLC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide assistance, information and referral services for the residents of McKinney and northern Collin County. Funding is mainly provided by private and public donations and by local churches. CLC is located at 503 N. Kentucky Street, Suite A, McKinney, Texas. 75069.