The El Paso United Family Resiliency Center (FRC), which offers support and healing to those directly and indirectly impacted by the August 3 tragedy, continues to offer the community assistance, including relief for current and new participants also being impacted by COVID-19.
“The circumstances for which United Way is leading this initiative are unfortunate but our United Way has never shied away from addressing and assisting the members of our community when the need is great,” said Deborah Zuloaga, President & CEO of United Way.
“Now, in the midst of a pandemic, our work is even more necessary to ensure the well-being of families who are still recovering and may be finding themselves being hard hit by these uncertain times.”
In collaboration with El Paso County and the City of El Paso and funding through the Office of the Governor, United Way of El Paso County is entrusted to be the backbone agency to host the center, which opened on December 19, and lead efforts in long-term recovery.
Funding for this program was officially approved on April 22, 2019.
Through personalized case management by resiliency navigators, the El Paso United FRC connects community members to various services, programs, and resources.
Officials share that referrals made can help individuals access services in the areas of behavioral health, emergency basic needs, legal services, spiritual care and financial stability. In accordance with CDC guidelines, the FRC is currently closed to visitors but resiliency navigators are providing wellness checks with participants via phone.
Beyond connecting individuals to community resources, resiliency navigators are finding that their routine check-ins are also providing moral support, an especially important part of healing.
In addition to navigation services, navigators have begun to offer no-contact emergency food deliveries to participants who are either most vulnerable to the virus or are unable to perform essential tasks. In the near future, the FRC also plans to distribute care packages featuring paper products, personal hygiene products, cleaning supplies and stress-relieving activities for all ages.
“Whether they’re dealing with financial issues, anxiety or stress, the effects of the pandemic are becoming challenging for everybody for different reasons ,” said Christina Lamour, UWEPC Vice President of Community Impact. “Through our wellness checks with our FRC participants, we are assessing their needs and looking at various ways to ease that worry and make sure our families feel supported.”
When the FRC reopens, the center plans to host a variety of events that allow for a shared healing process such as support groups and nontraditional therapies.
With community partners, the center also plans to increase the understanding of mental health and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illnesses through education and messaging.
The El Paso United FRC will continue to evolve based on the needs of the El Paso community. The center will operate until further notice based on funding.
If anyone in the community is seeking immediate assistance, please contact Alberto Ruiz at (915) 472-0573, Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.