Advocacy is a fundamental activity of the advisory board and is achieved through yearly client and community outreach activities.
Every December, just in time for the holidays, caseworkers submit client stories to the board for consideration in making their client’s hopes and needs come true. These stories describe the client hardships, needs and expressed wishes that fall outside of the APS program’s response. Historically, following a board review and vote, three winners are chosen and up to $500.00 is applied to supporting each client’s wishes. Our goal is to fund more health and hope awardees each year and we now support 5 clients each year through this program. Some items that have been purchased include a washer/dryer, furniture, a typewriter, a suit for a client to attend church and other needs such as helping a client with tax payments to prevent property foreclosure and homelessness.
The APS resource room program is designed to have ready-to-deliver resources, within local communities, to meet the immediate needs of clients. To-date, the board has created 7 resource rooms. There are 2 located in Harris County and 1 in Liberty, Montgomery, Galveston, Brazoria and Ft Bend Counties. The board allocates $3500.00 each year to stock the rooms with needed items such as adult diapers, blankets, cleaning supplies, clothes, toiletries and other basic health daily necessities. Portable heaters and fans are also sought to support client’s comfort during the Texas winter and summer elements.
Galveston County Resource Day was devised after the devastation of Hurricane Ike, which destroyed much of Galveston County. APS began hosting “Galveston County Resource Day” in which collaborative partners from the county would come together to share resources for older and disabled adults affected by the storm. The community support was overwhelming and this has become an annual community outreach event hosted by APS and supported by the board. This has also led to hosting community resource days in other counties to assist local older and disabled adult community members. To-date, annual community resource days are held in Galveston County, Liberty County, Ft Bend County and Brazoria County
Periodically, APS caseworkers identify important client needs that are not allowed to be assisted with state funds. These include paying for a physician visit, obtaining a state identification card such as a driver’s license to support benefits applications, obtaining a birth certificate, providing a deposit for utilities and other supportive needs.