TNOYS recently made the decision to revive the Emergency Shelter Task Force, which had for many years provided representation, networking, and support for Texas’ emergency shelter providers. This newly reorganized group met for the first time on Aug. 16 for an informative and productive gathering, and we’re excited to have the group up and running again.
The meeting was held at Jonathan’s Place in Garland, a TNOYS member organization that operates an emergency shelter, among other services. Attendees were invited to arrive early for a tour of Jonathan’s Place to learn from the organization about how it approaches operation of its shelter.
At the meeting, attendees had the opportunity to network with each other and hear from guest speakers Dr. Wayne Carson, CEO of ACH Child and Family Services, and Alan Schonburn, with the Child Sex Trafficking Team of the Texas Governor’s Office. Dr. Carson provided an update on foster care redesign in Texas, showing that the community-based care model is getting results in its second year, with 100 percent of youth safe in care and a 22 percent increase in the number of foster homes. He also discussed some of the challenges that have been faced, in areas such as funding, data, and culture change.
Alan Schonburn shared with attendees funding and engagement opportunities available to them through the Texas Governor’s Office. The opportunities are part of efforts by the Governor’s Office to create a statewide program to combat human trafficking; emergency shelters were encouraged to get involved and become part of the continuum of care to help sex trafficking victims. Schonburn also encouraged shelter providers to participate in trainings that can improve their ability to respond to sex trafficking situations.
We hope that shelter providers in our network can join us for the next task force meeting, which will be at SAFE in Austin on Oct. 3. DFPS will join us to discuss foster care placement capacity, Community Based Care, and more, and a tour of SAFE will be offered prior to the meeting. Click here to register, and please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining via webinar.