The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has awarded $100,000 to the Opportunity Center for the Homeless to provide supportive services to migrant and seasonal farm workers.
TDHCA made the award through its Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Program targeting specific education and career tract opportunities for migrant farm workers and their families, as well as helping meet the administrative expenses of the association.
“Helping Texans achieve self-sufficiency is the first priority of the CSBG Program and a critical component of the Department’s mission,” said TDHCA Executive Director Tim Irvine. “Through the programs offered by the Center, these families will be better equipped to participate in today’s growing job markets and learn budgeting skills, which in turn gives them access to better and more stable housing options.”
Advances and improvements in farming mechanizations have caused recent declines in employability for many migrant and seasonal farm workers. With guidance toward attaining additional job readiness skills, Opportunity Center for the Homeless looks to improve the long-term financial and household stability for farm workers and families.
“This grant will make available to the farm workers and their families the skills necessary to access educational and employment opportunities likely to provide stable, year-round sustainability in agricultural and non-agricultural occupations,” said Carlos Marentes, the Farm Workers Center Program Director.
The Farm Workers Center provides support and assistance to the farm workers community in El Paso County regarding emergency shelter and food assistance, permanent housing, educational opportunities, job trainings, health and medical services, among many others.
This grant specifically focuses on reaching out to over 270 agricultural workers and their families getting support services at the center.