Endeavors: How It Started Vs. How It’s Going
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Where did we come from and where are we going? Here’s a look at all the big moments along the way.
The past year has held plenty of surprises.
Some of them were challenging— a global pandemic and political controversies, among other unsettling news stories. Some of them were heart-warming— amidst all the troubles of 2020, we saw people show up to support one another with kindness, humanity, and creativity.
One of the most uplifting movements we’ve seen is the “How it started, how it’s going” trend, where people showcase their dreams and goals by posting photos of their past and current selves. (You can see a few of them here.)
These comparisons prove that, despite hardships, people are still chasing after their passions and pursuing the things they love.
We thought we’d participate by taking a look back at Endeavors: how we started, where we’re going, and a few of the big moments along the way,
How It Started: A Grassroots Movement
Endeavors wasn’t always called “Endeavors.” Our organization has had many names and programs over the years, but each effort had one thing in common: the mission was always to serve vulnerable people in crisis.
It all started in 1969 in San Antonio. The city was flourishing and growing at the time; however, along with the city’s growth, the homeless population was also increasing at an alarming rate.
Seeing the need for aid, a group of five San Antonio Presbyterian churches joined together to create the San Antonio Urban Council. The council sought to provide health care, education, homelessness support, senior citizen support, and child care to low-income San Antonio families.
How It’s Going: A Continuum of Care
Since our humble beginnings, we at Endeavors have sought to keep the original heart and humility while spreading our reach across the state (and nation). From food pantries to supportive housing, we have expanded into a far-reaching organization that still continues to serve vulnerable people in crisis.
Here are a few of the incredible programs that help us help people.
Establishing partnerships with the Texas Workforce Commission and other work programs, Endeavors Unlimited became a way for adults with disabilities to have the opportunity to achieve a life full of stability, successes, and self-sufficiency. Our teams can also provide commercial landscaping and facility work for businesses looking to employ individuals with disabilities.
Through our Supportive Housing program, Endeavors provides a safe, healthy, stable, and caring environment to chronically homeless individuals, as well as mothers with disabilities and their children.
Providing Sustainable Hope
Assisting those who suffer from homelessness, the Endeavors Providing Sustainable Hope Program provides sustainable housing alongside access to mental health resources, education, and job training to chronically homeless, low-income individuals with disabling conditions throughout Bexar County.
Disaster Case Management
Our Disaster Case Management (DCM) services connect emergency or disaster victims to services and funding they may not be aware of, helping them recover after an emergency or disaster situation. From safety shelters and evacuation efforts to home repair, new furniture, and clothing, Endeavors seeks to help in any way we can.
Veteran Supportive Services
Our Veteran Supportive Services (VSS) rapidly re-houses and prevents homelessness among eligible Veterans and their families. Our programs offer emergency financial assistance and one-on-one case management services, including short-term emergency housing, rent payment, job placement assistance, and more.
Utilizing our experience serving Veterans, Endeavors expanded into mental health services for Veterans through a partnership with the Cohen Veterans Network. Opening the first Military Family Clinic in San Antonio in 2016, the next two years would see the expansion of the clinics into El Paso and Killeen.
The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics at Endeavors provide high-quality, accessible, and integrated mental health care to Veterans and their families regardless of role, discharge status, or ability to pay. All three of our clinics are part of the Cohen Veterans Network (CVN), a national not for profit organization serving Veterans and military families via 19 clinics across the United States.
Our Emergency Rapid Deployment services have assisted communities in need for nearly a decade. With over 1,000 professional reserve staff located throughout the United States, Endeavors is available to deploy within 72 hours of activation in response to natural disasters, crisis, or public health emergencies.
During the pandemic, we continue to help staff emergency shelters in several cities in Texas, help connect people tofinancial relief, and distribute supplies and donations.
Through our Safe Services program, we seek to improve the lives of those who have experienced trauma due to crimes committed against them. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a crime, resources are available!
Where We’re Headed: New & Unique Offerings
Today, Endeavors seeks to continue finding ways to serve those in need. We are working hard to expand our footprint of the Fairweather Family Lodge and serve more mothers and children and will be opening the first of its kind Veteran Wellness Center in San Antonio to provide wrap-around services to the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Endeavors.
We’ve also teamed up with SARAH’s #WESAY #HouseAllYouth Movement to form the Youth Resilient Project, a re-housing program specifically designed for youth and young adults ages 18-24 in Bexar County, Texas. Through the program, our Case Managers will work one-on-one with the young people to find permanent housing and provide access to important services like mental health counseling, parenting education, employment assistance, educational services, life skills training, mentorship, childcare, as well as basic needs such as food, clothing, and medical care.
We are so proud of “how it started,” we’ve loved “how it’s going,” and we’re so excited to continue serving people in need throughout the country! Serving vulnerable people in crisis is our passion. We are so thankful for everyone who has been with us on this incredible journey.
Endeavors is a San Antonio nonprofit that serves vulnerable people in crisis through our innovative, personalized approach. Established in 1977, Endeavors’ Housing Program is its longest-running initiative. Its goal is to provide permanent supportive housing to female veterans, as well as individuals and families with mental illness and/or disabilities. Our Housing Services programs are located in San Antonio, Texas, and Fayetteville, North Carolina.