TexasServes Rio Grande Valley – the newest network in the national AmericaServes movement and third in Texas – will guide veterans, service members and families directly to needed services
TexasServes Rio Grande Valley (TXServes-RGV), a coordinated network of more than 40 agencies and providers for active duty service members, veterans and their family members in Cameron, Hidalgo, Willacy and Starr counties launched today as the 18th network in the national AmericaServes portfolio.
Supported by a web-based technology platform from Unite Us, TXServes-RGV will connect veterans with services including health care, housing, education, job training, and legal and financial counseling. Tropical Texas Behavioral Health will operate the TXServes-RGV coordination centers where veterans and their families can receive assistance connecting to needed services. Physical coordination centers are planned in Harlingen and Edinburg though clients will also be able to receive support online and over the phone.
Active duty, National Guard, Reserve service members, as well as veterans and their families who reside in Cameron, Hidalgo, Willacy and Starr counties are eligible for support from the network. All individuals who have served in the military regardless of age, era, branch or discharge status are eligible for support from the coordination center. Although some services have limiting eligibility criteria, network care coordinators strive to find an appropriate local resource.
The RGV network joins two other established TxServes networks currently operating in North Texas and San Antonio. These operations identify and work to fill gaps in the availability of services across the state. All three networks are part of AmericaServes – a series of coordinated networks of integrated services designed to transform the way veterans and their families access and navigate care and resources in their communities. AmericaServes is one of several free programs offered by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University to advance the post-service lives of American veterans and military families. First launched in New York City, AmericaServes is active in 18 communities, connecting veterans to not only local services but to a national community from Seattle to San Antonio and Rochester, NY to Raleigh. TXServes-RGV is generously supported by the Legacy Foundation.
“TXServes – RGV was born of a simple question: How can we improve the quality of life for Texas veterans, service members and their families?” says Maureen Casey, Chief Operating Officer for the IVMF. “This model of coordinated care has proven successful in communities around the country and we are excited to partner with Tropical Texas Behavioral Health to bring this service to the deserving members of the Rio Grande Valley.”
In 2019, Governor Abbott’s Committee to Support the Military published a report with a number of recommendations for policy changes and legislative action to improve upon education, health care, quality of life, workforce development, encroachment, and infrastructure as they relate to the military community of Texas. Among the key recommendations for connecting veterans and active duty personnel to services, the Governor supported the TXServes model:
“TXServes should be expanded in communities across the state to achieve as much coverage as possible utilizing their web-based case management system. Such a system would help make Texas a national model for service delivery to our military members, military families, and veterans.”