BCFS-Corpus Christi Begins New Program for Hurricane Victims

BCFS Health and Human Services-Corpus Christi serves nine counties throughout the Coastal Bend area, hosting informative and engaging group events in the area while also working to bring positive life changes to individuals directly.

In December 2017, after several families served by BCFS-Corpus Christi were negatively affected by Hurricane Harvey, the Services to At Risk Youth (STAR) program expanded coverage to include victims of the hurricane that brought immense damage and a record amount of rainfall to the area.  

Marissa Cano, Regional Director of South Texas for BCFS Health and Human Services, reported that issues facing hurricane victims, even years after the date of disaster, often do not have a simple resolution. Health issues can take much longer to prioritize and solve, especially for those who have lost access to transportation. Repairing structural damage to homes and restoring personal possessions requires consistent effort on the part of victims. Completing insurance forms, filing claims, accessing government paperwork: all of this takes time.

With Corpus Christi’s situation in mind, a grant was proposed to Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS), a fellow Texas-based nonprofit headquartered in Austin, which was able to secure $50,000 for BCFS-Corpus Christi to establish a new program: Safety Nets for Students and Families (SNSF).

At the heart of the SNSF program is a counseling and support service capable of identifying and addressing the burdens imposed by a natural disaster. This includes meeting people where they are locally (even in their own homes), securing immediate needs, and, importantly, establishing safety nets that can help those around Corpus Christi prepare for unforeseen events in the future.

“It is about counseling, but it’s also about seeing what people need beyond that. It’s about looking at emotional and physical needs together, and seeing how we can help them all around,” said Marissa. “We are starting with 15 families in the area who are STAR clients, but we hope to expand and help more families as time goes on; as we see the demand and as we’re able to financially meet that demand.”

The SNSF program will assist families with basic needs, like car and home repairs, or provide an established outlet for networking with insurance companies, acting as an advocate and a source of support. Throughout the case management process, Family Support Specialists and SNSF Clinicians will accompany those under the care of BCFS-Corpus Christi to decrease their total time to recovery. 

Safety Nets for Students and Families plans to begin service at the end of February or the beginning of March.

Learn more about how BCFS-Corpus Christi serves the Coastal Bend.