Governor Abbott Ensures State Agencies Continue Providing Resources, Long-Term Support To Uvalde Community

June 24, 2022

TEXAS, June 23 - June 23, 2022 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott continues to oversee and direct Texas state agency efforts to assist and support the Uvalde community following the tragedy at Robb Elementary School. As part of the State of Texas' comprehensive plan to coordinate state and local resources for affected members of the Uvalde community, multiple agencies have sent representatives to the area to work onsite with local officials and organization offering a range of support services to victims' families, school faculty, first responders, and the whole community.

Members of the Uvalde community seeking state mental health resources can receive help through a single 24/7 hotline: 888-690-0799. The hotline has answered nearly 350 calls to date.

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. The Robb School Memorial Fund was established by the First State Bank of Uvalde, with 100% of donations going to the fund for victims' families, teachers, and the Uvalde community.

RECENT HIGHLIGHTS ASSISTING UVALDE COMMUNITY:

Texas Workforce Commission Prioritizes Benefits, Emergency Child Care For Uvalde Residents

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has answered over 130 priority unemployment benefits calls from Uvalde since May 25. TWC also continues to waive work search requirements for unemployment customers from its Middle Rio Board Area, which encompasses Uvalde.

In total, five families with 10 children have enrolled in TWC’s Uvalde emergency child care. Additionally, more than 160 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications have been approved by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and these families have the option of participating in Workforce Solutions SNAP Employment & Training services, but are exempted from mandatory requirements.


Texas Health And Human Services Commission Assists With Opening Long-Term First Responder Resiliency Center

24/7 Hotline Offering Mental Health Assistance: 888-690-0799

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is coordinating with Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (MHDD) Centers and the Harris Center for Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to operate the dedicated mental health support hotline for Uvalde residents. Since May 27, the hotline has answered almost 350 calls.

On June 19, the First Responder Assistance Center (FRAC) transitioned to the long-term First Responder Resiliency Center (FRRC), operated by the Ecumenical Center as a separate location and branch of the Uvalde Together Resiliency Center. The FRRC will continue providing mental health crisis intervention, peer support outreach, managing the hotline, and maintaining the Uvalde Response website. The FRAC has served more than 1,180 people since May 27.

Hill Country MHDD Centers is conducting outreach to impacted populations, including through schools, local businesses, hospitals, libraries, and nursing homes, among others. It has also increased operations capacity by hiring a resiliency coordinator and three counselors, extended hours of operation to include weekends from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and secured additional meeting space at Sul Ross University’s Psychology Department for anyone seeking individual and group counseling and support groups.


Texas Department Of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation Continues Outreach Efforts, Tracks Claims

The Texas Department of Insurance’s (TDI) Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is currently tracking 25 workers’ compensation claims related to the tragedy at Robb Elementary School and is attempting to contact other individuals in possible need of assistance.

Roughly 30 Uvalde residents were assisted while DWC customer services staff were onsite at the Uvalde Together Resiliency Center through June 10. DWC has also contacted 11 health care facilities and providers in the area to educate them on workers’ compensation billing procedures and treatment guidelines, as well as encourage them to accept workers’ compensation insurance for claims related to the shooting.


Texas Department Of Housing And Community Affairs, Community Council Of South Central Texas Will Host Book Drive For Students Coping With Trauma

In coordination with the Community Council of South Central Texas (CCSCT), the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has provided gas cards, hotel stays, and rent and mortgage assistance to over 125 households and over 550 individuals through Community Service Block Grants. Additional services have been provided to almost 125 families. In total, CCSCT has expended more than $93,600 on direct services in its support for the Uvalde community.

This Saturday, June 25, CCSCT will host an outreach and book distribution event at the Uvalde Civic Center in partnership with Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and Usborne Books and More, which held a book drive for junior high and high school students coping with trauma and loss. CCST contributed $1,000 in unrestricted funds. In total, $18,000 was raised for about 3,000 books for distribution.


Texas Education Agency Plans School-Based Mental Health Services For Uvalde CISD Community

In partnership with Education Service Center (ESC) 20, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is assisting local school systems, students, parents, and faculty. Twenty-five school districts and charters have supplied counselors to the Uvalde CISD community, with 11 scheduled this week.

TEA is collaborating with Uvalde CISD school counselors and organizations, such as Communities In Schools and the Children’s Bereavement Center, to provide responsive, school-based mental health services. The support team is scheduled to meet weekly in collaboration with the Uvalde Together Resiliency Center to plan tiered services and support, classroom guidance, and school-based mental health services for the 2022-2023 school year. The support team is currently providing guidance lessons during summer school, with integrated grief and trauma-informed activities and two 30-minute classroom sessions per week for each grade level/class.


Texas Division Of Emergency Management Fulfills Requests From Local Officials For Services, Resources

The Texas Division of Emergency Management continues to coordinate with agency partners and vendors to fulfill requests and distribute donated resources and feeding services through Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. The Disaster Recovery Task Force is supporting local officials, Uvalde CISD leaders, and the First State Bank of Uvalde with technical guidance regarding the Robb Elementary Memorial Fund, in partnership with OneStar Foundation. TDEM’s State Operations Center remains activated at Level II (escalated).