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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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State Agencies Ongoing Support for Uvalde Community

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Governor Greg Abbott today provided an update on Texas state agencies' continued efforts to assist and support the Uvalde community as they heal. Image for illustration purposes
Governor Greg Abbott today provided an update on Texas state agencies’ continued efforts to assist and support the Uvalde community as they heal. Image for illustration purposes

Texas Border Business

AUSTIN, Texas – Governor Greg Abbott today provided an update on Texas state agencies’ continued efforts to assist and support the Uvalde community as they heal. Following the tragedy at Robb Elementary School, the Governor announced Texas’ comprehensive, ongoing plan to coordinate with state and local officials in offering resources to those affected by the tragedy.

To accelerate all available state and local resources, Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration for the City of Uvalde to assist the community and continue providing much needed support unencumbered by regulations as they recover from this tragedy. 

Members of the Uvalde community seeking state mental health resources can receive help through a single 24/7 hotline: 888-690-0799. Members of the public wishing to show their support and help the community can donate through a one-stop webpage created by the OneStar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.  


Governor Abbott, Uvalde County Announce Opening Of Uvalde Together Resiliency Center 
Governor Abbott announced Uvalde County officials opened a temporary facility this Monday, June 6 for the newly created Uvalde Together Resiliency Center (UTRC). The UTRC will serve as a long-term support services for the community’s ongoing needs, including mental health resources and crisis counseling. Last week, the Governor’s Public Safety Office made an initial $5 million investment to establish the UTRC as a hub for state agencies and local organizations to provide assistance to impacted members of the community. A full list of services provided at the UTRC is available here.

Governor Abbott Works With OneStar To Create One-Stop Webpage For Donations To Support Uvalde Community 
“Donations of any amount to the OneStar Foundation webpage will go a long way in letting these grief-stricken families, teachers, and loved ones know that they are not alone as they begin the long and difficult process of piecing their lives back together,” said Governor Abbott. “The true spirit of the Lone Star State is Texans helping Texans, and we must continue supporting those working to heal in the weeks and months ahead.” The OneStar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, will give 100% of the donations to the Robb School Memorial Fund, which was established by the First State Bank of Uvalde to ensure immediate financial support is given to those impacted by the horrific tragedy at Robb Elementary School.
Texas Division Of Emergency Management Activates State Operations Center To Level II, Works With Local Officials To Fulfill Needs 
The Texas Division of Emergency Management’s (TDEM) State Operations Center remains activated at Level II, or Increased Readiness. Deploying 25 staff members to provide onsite support in Uvalde, TDEM continues coordinating with state agency partners and vendors to fulfill requests from local officials for services and resources, including:

Resources for the temporary Family Assistance Center and permanent UTRC, including a climate-controlled reception area, a group counseling trailer, nine private counseling areas, and restroom facilities.

Information technology staff, three computers for the UTRC, and public support call numbers.Temporary lodging for immediate family members visiting for funeral services via 22 RV units.

Fuel for generators powering the UTRC and other command trailers and vehicles.

100 bedding packs for first responders’ lodging.Resources to support multiple command areas, including 130 tables, 130 chairs, 10 hand-washing stations, and portable toilets.In addition, TDEM has supported resource requests routed to other state agency partners, such as four counseling teams, seven dispatchers, four call takers, six nurses, and six ambulances. 

TDEM’s Disaster Recovery Task Force coordinated with local officials, community stakeholders, local and state disaster behavioral health services, and victim service agencies to support the formation of the UTRC.

The task force also provided guidance to local officials, Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) leaders, and First State Bank personnel for the partnership with OneStar Foundation to create the one-stop webpage for donations to support victims’ families, teachers, and the Uvalde community.

Texas Education Agency Continues Providing Assistance To Local School Systems, Uvalde CISD Community 
In partnership with Education Service Center (ESC) 20, the Texas Education Agency continues providing assistance to the local school systems, students, parents, and faculty, including:Coordinating with local school systems to provide counselors as a direct support to staff, students, and their families in the Uvalde CISD learning community.Collaborating with Uvalde CISD school counselors and other organizations, including Communities In Schools and the Children’s Bereavement Center, to provide responsive school-based mental health services.Providing support through classroom guidance lessons during summer school, including two-30 minute sessions per week for each grade level/class.Supporting a detailed facilities review of all existing Uvalde CISD school buildings to ensure all exterior doors are fully functional.Supporting Uvalde CISD with planning for an enhanced security presence at summer school.

Texas Health And Human Services Commission Providing Mental Health Support 
24/7 Hotline Offering Mental Health Assistance: 888-690-0799 The Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s (HHSC) Disaster Behavioral Health Services coordinated with the local Hill Country Mental Health and Development Disabilities Center and the Harris Center for Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Call Center to deliver crisis services to the community, including creating a dedicated mental health support line: 888-690-0799. The hotline has answered over 235 calls since May 27. HHSC is also working with the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium to provide additional mental health counseling resources. HHSC eligibility staff are assisting families who may need health, food, or cash assistance benefits. HHSC has assisted in the activation of the Critical Incident Stress Management network, a volunteer entity with the primary focus to address first responder mental health needs.

Department of State Health Services Deploys Immediate Medical Resources 
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) provided immediate medical resources to the Uvalde community, including an air medical unit, 15 units of whole blood, two ambulance buses, and a Zumero tent as a cooling station.

DSHS has also deployed the following response teams:
Medical incident support team membersOne mobile medical unit with two logistics personnelAn ambulance strike team, which includes ambulances, one critical care unit, and an ambulance strike team leader

Two medics with an all-terrain vehicle for funeral supportRegistered nurse strike team, comprised of eight members and a team leaderFive behavioral health staff supporting responders and Uvalde Memorial Hospital (from the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force)

Texas Department Of Insurance, Division Of Workers’ Compensation Assist With Workers Compensation Questions, Claims 
The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) customer service staff have been embedded in Uvalde to answer workers’ compensation questions and help with claims, assisting about 30 customers at the center and supporting 18 workers’ compensation claims related to the tragedy to date.

Those injured or with an injured beneficiary can call 800-252-7031. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) is coordinating with private health insurance companies and those that offer managed care plans through Texas’ Medicaid program for access to physical and mental health resources.

To provide help for any Texas insurance consumer, TDI is operating a call center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday: 800-252-3439.

Texas Workforce Commission Offers Child Care, Unemployment, Workforce, And Vocational Rehabilitation Services  
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), in partnership with Workforce Solutions Middle Rio Grande, is assisting families with child care by implementing additional flexibility and care extensions. The agency also created a new Uvalde Emergency Care program to provide child careregardless of income or employment status to eligible families affected by the tragedy.    

Tele-centers are prioritizing calls from Uvalde residents seeking unemployment assistance, and work search requirements have been temporarily waived for the area. The agency is also prioritizing unemployment benefits, appeals, and tax services to affected families and employers. Services are being provided through vocational rehabilitation counselors, who can help address barriers to employment, information and referral services, job placement, and education and training.      

Residents of Uvalde County who are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will not be required to meet certain mandatory requirements to ensure the continuation of benefits. 

Texas Department Of Housing And Community Affairs Helps Impacted Texans With Food, Gas Expenses 
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), along with its area partner, Community Council of South Central Texas, has helped 85 households and 291 individuals in Uvalde with hotel costs for families, gas cards, food, and housing-related assistance, including mortgage, rent, and utilities help. Funding is provided through TDHCA’s Community Services Block Grant Program, with nearly $68,000 expended for direct services to assist families.

Recent Donations To Uvalde Community 
The Texas Mutual Insurance Company has donated $100,000 to the Robb School Memorial Fund through the OneStar Foundation, $100,000 to the Uvalde Mental Health Resiliency Fund, organized by Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, and $50,000 to the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country’s Uvalde Strong Fund. BCBSTX/Health Care Service Corporation is also donating $50,000 to the San Antonio Area Foundation to support Employees Retirement System and Teacher Retirement System of Texas members and dependents and provide them with access to no-cost virtual behavioral health care.
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