Dr. Melissa Escamilla

Melissa currently serves as the Program Director for Veteran Supportive Services at Endeavors. The Veteran Supportive Services program provides rapid rehousing and housing stability services to low income, at risk veterans or veterans experiencing homelessness. Her catchment area includes Southeast Texas, the Gulf Coast and all of South Texas.  

Melissa has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit setting assisting vulnerable populations such as people with disabilities, persons experiencing homelessness, older Americans and persons with mental health issues live independently in the community of their choice.  She has experience working in customer service which has laid the foundation for providing the most vulnerable populations with information and referral in the community, advocacy, independent living skills training and holistic case management services. Melissa also has experience working with local, state and local grants at the non-profit level.  She has been successful in grant writing, program administration, program evaluation, and technical assistance training.  She has been an educator in the School of Rehabilitation Counseling and Services for over 13 years at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley formerly University of Texas Pan American.  As an educator, Melissa is able to bring her field experience into the classroom to undergraduate and master level students.  

At one time Melissa was able to initiate, oversee, and administer five grant programs for people with disabilities.  Melissa has also held various positions in the community such as Continuum of Care Board Member, Texas Alliance for Information and Referral Services Treasurer and Vice President, Rio Grande Valley Community Veteran’s Engagement Board Co-Chair, and Cameron County Homeless Coalition Chair.  Melissa continues to advocate for vulnerable populations as a board member of Texas Homeless Network.  In addition to Melissa’s community work, Melissa’s interest in veteran population was through personal experiences with family members who are veterans.  Melissa advocates across the state for veterans at risk of homelessness or experiencing homelessness and is a proponent of Veteran Wellness. In 2018, Melissa’s dissertation, “Veteran Wellness and Reintegration: Factors Contributing to Their Success in the Community” was presented to the National Council on Rehabilitation Educators Conference in Alexandria, VA. 

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