Testimonials

“My son, Troy, has progressed a lot with ECI services. Before ECI services, my son was not talking at all. We started ECI services in September of 2019 and have been with ECI for 10 months. My son Troy has really progressed a lot since he started as before, he would just make noises and point at things. Now he’s able to name animals, count to 20 and say his colors. Troy now has consistent language and uses single words and phrases on a daily basis such as dad, pool, cars, trucks and is now able to make his needs and wants known.
His intervention specialist, Miss Z, has been so patient and kind with my son. She is an awesome teacher. ECI services have been a big blessing in our lives.”

Community Services

Ms. Louise Riley, better know to her friends as"Lou," is a proud 68 year old widow of a U.S. veteran. She spent her time volunteering at the local VFW of Ingleside in honor of her late husband and all veterans. Lou had worked part time for the past six years, saving up to purchase her own trailer home. In the summer of 2017, with some money in her savings along with a loan from a friend, Lou was able to purchase the trailer home of her dreams. Only two and a half months later, Hurricane Harvey directly hit Aransas Pass forcing Lou to evacuate to Laredo, Texas. When she returned on August 28, her birthday, she found her new home with no roof, no electricity, no running water, and mold and mildew throughout. The city deemed her home uninhabitable. Lou was devastated. Having nowhere else to go, Lou stayed in the home for nine days crawling in and out through a broken window because the door would no longer open.

Eventually a concerned neighbor notified local law enforcement in fear of her safety, forcing Lou to leave her home for good. With no money and still having to pay for the lot that her trailer was on as well as monthly payments to the friend who had loaned her the money for the trailer, Lou was left feeling helpless. This was the second time in her life that a natural disaster had taken everything from her. Lou and her husband had survived a direct tornado hit while living in a trailer park in Florida. They were the only survivors in the park.

Knowing that she needed to get back on her feet, Lou applied for assistance from FEMA and was denied a total of three times. Feeling hopeless, Lou reached out to the friend with whom she was staying. Her friend mentioned an event being held by CACOST at Our Lady of Assumption in Ingleside, TX. Lou went to see if she could qualify for any assistance.

With the help of AARP and CACOST, Lou was provided immediate assistance in the form of gift cards. Nearly five months after the disaster, she remained homeless and unable to meet basic needs. In January 2018, Lou received a brand new 2018 RV Travel Trailer with AARP funds. CACOST assisted Ms. Riley in searching for an affordable location to permanently place her new home. Together the perfect location was found in Mathis, Texas, 45 miles away from her previous home. CACOST collaborated with Howdy Ranch RV Park who offered Lou a low monthly fee with all bills included and one month free rent. Lou has also found a new place to continue her volunteer work for veterans and is the happiest she has been in years.

“I just received notice that your department will be helping me with my electric bill. I wanted to tell you that it will help me immensely. It’s difficult to understand how someone who is truly disabled, through no fault of their own, and on a very limited income doesn’t even qualify for a day’s worth of food. Your assistance will be helping with that. I can’t tell you how thankful I am.”

-M.G.

Mr. A.A. contacted the program to apply for utility assistance, but did not qualify because he wasn’t in the service area. CEAP staff kindly explained why the program couldn’t help and provided him the contact information for his local CEAP office. He thanked the staff for “going out of their way” to assist him in forwarding his application to the correct office. “I am on foot and don’t have a vehicle. With the staff’s help, I got to the right people and they are able to help me with my utility bills. Thanks to all of you guys and I really appreciate all that you do to assist people.”

“We were given a great opportunity to participate in your Weatherization program. We would like to emphasize our gratitude to your staff and especially to the weatherization specialist for helping us in everything from the very beginning with expert opinions and solutions to all our questions. The manager was also very helpful and spot on in finding the perfect solution to our roof concerns and questions. We were so grateful for her decision and followed her instructions to the letter.

A big thank you to your contractors, sub-contractors and inspectors under your supervision. They came into our home with total professionalism and took over what they were assigned to do and did an excellent job. This was way beyond what we thought we were in for. We figured this would be an inconvenience only because we thought it would take months, but it was so little and so well worth it because they finished in days.”

-Mr. & Mrs. O.C.

Head Start

By being in the Expectant Mother's Program, I got lots of help and guidance. Ms. Gomez was there to listen and give me advice on what to expect. We had lots of visits with her giving me packets of paper regarding information about pregnancy to showing me information on the baby and safety of the baby, She was preparing me for motherhood in other words. We had visits until the last few weeks of my pregnancy. We even had visits after I had my baby to see how everything was going and if I had any questions or concerns. The program even got a childcare spot for my baby after she was born. By putting my baby in daycare, it gave me the chance to go to college to pursue a degree in nursing. Without the program I would be worrying and stressing on a babysitter. The program was a big help. I'm grateful that I got a chance to be in the Expected Mothers Program.  -B. Longoria

Federally Qualified Health Center

After speaking with her medical provider at one of our local clinics, a patient was introduced to a LCDC (licensed chemical dependency counselor) to talk about her issues with alcohol even though she recently stopped drinking. The patient has been meeting regularly with the counselor as well as making regular doctor’s appointments and taking all of her medications as prescribed. She has been sober for 11 months now and in that time she has moved into her own home and is managing her own bank account. Although for many this may just be part of everyday life, this is the first time in over 10 years that she has been able to handle these responsibilities on her own.

Early Childhood Intervention

"My son, Troy, has progressed a lot with ECI services. Before ECI services, my son was not talking at all. We started ECI services in September of 2019 and have been with ECI for 10 months. My son Troy has really progressed a lot since he started as before, he would just make noises and point at things. Now he's able to name animals, count to 20 and say his colors. Troy now has consistent language and uses single words and phrases on a daily basis such as dad, pool, cars, trucks and is now able to make his needs and wants known. His intervention specialist, Miss Z, has been so patient and kind with my son. She is an awesome teacher. ECI services have been a big blessing in our lives."

-written/shared by Troy’s family

“Before the Pathways program, Zoey was not at the developmental level she should have been at her age. She did not respond to, or even acknowledge anyone who called her name. Games like “Peek-A-Boo" and “Patty Cake” didn’t stimulate her at all. Often a blank stare is all we were met with when trying to establish communication with her. For a period of time we were convinced that she had hearing issues. The familiar staples of raising a toddler didn’t apply to Zoey, no tantrums for attention, or when she didn’t get her way, no crying when she was uncomfortable or in pain from a fall. There was none of the growth one expects from raising a toddler, it seemed like Zoey just existed.

It is not over stating things to say that Zoey began to blossom almost immediately within the program. A few weeks in the program had jump started development that had eluded her for a year. Her lack of attention span soon transformed into 30 minutes of focused play and communication. She began to request simple needs and desires and began to establish actual varied relationships with those around her. We were embarrassingly elated when she first declared through teary eyes “I’m sad”.

Today Zoey is almost the complete opposite of who she was before the program. She is constantly laughing and playing with her siblings. Family members have been brought to tears over her newfound ability to express her affection for them in hugs and hellos. Even more distanced observers like neighbors and doctors have expressed disbelief at the turnaround in her demeanor.

On a personal level one gift I will always be thankful to Pathways for was hearing Zoey call me mommy, something that had not happened before. It took time and effort to get there but no one in my family will ever doubt the value and effectiveness of the Pathways program. The members of her team will always be considered family by us, and we will forever be grateful for the time and effort they put in to the betterment of our little girl’s life.””

-written/shared by Zoey’s family

Ms. Louise Riley, better know to her friends as”Lou,” is a proud 68 year old widow of a U.S. veteran. She spent her time volunteering at the local VFW of Ingleside in honor of her late husband and all veterans. Lou had worked part time for the past six years, saving up to purchase her own trailer home. In the summer of 2017, with some money in her savings along with a loan from a friend, Lou was able to purchase the trailer home of her dreams. Only two and a half months later, Hurricane Harvey directly hit Aransas Pass forcing Lou to evacuate to Laredo, Texas. When she returned on August 28, her birthday, she found her new home with no roof, no electricity, no running water, and mold and mildew throughout. The city deemed her home uninhabitable. Lou was devastated. Having nowhere else to go, Lou stayed in the home for nine days crawling in and out through a broken window because the door would no longer open.

Eventually a concerned neighbor notified local law enforcement in fear of her safety, forcing Lou to leave her home for good. With no money and still having pay to pay for the lot that her trailer was on as well as monthly payments to the friend who had loaned her the money for the trailer, Lou was left feeling helpless. This was the second time in her life that a natural disaster had taken everything from her. Lou and her husband had survived a direct tornado hit while living in a trailer park in Florida. They were the only survivors in the park.

Knowing that she needed to get back on her feet, Lou applied for assistance from FEMA and was denied a total of three times.Feeling hopeless, Lou reached out to the friend with whom she was staying. Her friend mentioned an event being held by CACOST at Our Lady of Assumption in Ingleside, TX. Lou went to see if she could qualify for any assistance.

With the help of AARP and CACOST, Lou was provided immediate assistance in the form of gift cards. Nearly five months after the disaster, she remained homeless and unable to meet basic needs. In January 2018, Lou received a brand new 2018 RV Travel Trailer with AARP funds. CACOST assisted Ms. Riley in searching for an affordable location to permanently place her new home. Together the perfect location was found in Mathis, Texas, 45 miles away from her previous home. CACOST collaborated with Howdy Ranch RV Park who offered Lou a low monthly fee with all bills included and one month free rent. Lou has also found a new place to continue her volunteer work for veterans and is the happiest she has been in years.
To Community Action Corporation of South Texas,

I would like to thank you for helping me with your services. I am M. Benavidez, a single parent (grandparent) with an 11 year old granddaughter with special needs that lives with me. Andrea is disabled and needs total care; she does not talk or walk. There are so many things that I need to buy for her condition.

Due to Andrea’s condition, I needed help with my utility bill. I am very grateful for the assistance that Community Action Corporation of  South Texas has given me.

I am very thankful for the help you have provided me. This aid has allowed me to be able to provide for most of Andrea’s needs. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have your assistance. I greatly appreciate this.

Thank you,
M. Benavidez
By being in the Expectant Mother’s Program, I got lots of help and guidance. Ms. Gomez was there to listen and give me advice on what to expect.

We had lots of visits with her giving me packets of paper regarding information about pregnancy to showing me information on the baby and safety of the baby, She was preparing me for motherhood in other words. We had visits until the last few weeks of my pregnancy. We even had visits after I had my baby to see how everything was going and if I had any questions or concerns. The program even got a childcare spot for my baby after she was born. By putting my baby in daycare, it gave me the chance to go to college to pursue a degree in nursing.

Without the program I would be worrying and stressing on a babysitter. The program was a big help. I’m grateful that I got a chance to be in the Expected Mothers Program.

-B. Longoria

Because of CACOST, Jane has been able to obtain primary health care for the past three years. Through a routine visit with her primary health care provider, Jane was given a fecal occult blood stool test kit to take home and bring back to the clinic.

Jane later told us that she took his test with no intention of ever bringing it back, because of the efforts of our nursing staff who called her week after week to  remind her to bring this test back she decided to complete it.

Once completed, it was found that Jane’s test came back positive for occult blood in her stool. She was called and notified that she needed to follow up immediately. At her follow up appointment, she was referred to a general surgeon who performed a colonoscopy and was able to confirm that the patient had colon cancer. The patient was able to have the mass removed and her colon resected.

Thanks to CACOST, Jane’s cancer was found early and she has been in remission since 2017.
No parent ever thinks they would need the assistance of a program like ECI, but in 2017, the Cuevas found themselves doing just that for their son Emmanuel Cuevas, better known as “Manny.” Manny began the ECI Pathways Program in February 2017. The Pathways Parent Training Program teaches parents to address the needs of toddlers at risk or diagnosed with autism. The Cuevas family was inspired by the dedicated work of ECI in bringing children with autism and their families together. When Manny began the program at 26 months, he struggled to make eye contact, form words or even syllables. He had a severe speech delay composed of only five words- bye, bus, ball, no and cat.

“Before Pathways, Manny displayed a lack of creative play.” Manny always played alone and spent a lot of time lining up his toys in rows observing them, then getting upset whenever someone moved his things. With the help of ECI and the Pathways teachings, his parents were taught to Focus Practice. With this training. Manny now rolls his toy cars around and makes noises like honking and rumbling sounds. The family is learning to make eye contact by getting in Manny’s line of sight and keeping his attention to find activities to encourage further eye contact. This practice also helps when Manny is requesting his favorite food or drink. “He smiles and even wants to feed mommy.” These small milestones ear what Manny’s family and ECI work towards and make it all worthwhile. Can you believe all this only happened in three months?

After this short time, Manny’s parents are proud to say that he is making more eye contact, forming syllables, making a variety of facial expressions and has added 10 new words to his vocabulary. He also imitates sounds and words on occasion. At 29 months, Manny is able to label objects such as cars and animals. “What we really love is that he is not only using more words, but he uses them in a much more functional way and looks at us enthusiastically while saying words or labeling objects.” Within the first few months Manny had made many other improvements. his anxiety levels were down, he was pointing at objects, he smiled and most of all he communicated in a more efficient way with his family. Since beginning the program, Eduardo and Anahi have witnessed countless improvements in their child’s development, social skills and in his communication. “He connects much more with us.”

ECI and Pathways has allowed the Cuevas family to participate in Manny’s therapy and learn the skills needed for a lifetime of learning. They have also allowed Manny’s family to feel his love and become closer to their son. “He requests to play with us. He bonds with his siblings.” The Cuevas family see improvements in Manny every day and feel closer to him with every Focus practice session. They sleep easier and welcome every tomorrow knowing that they are in good hands and Manny is getting the support that he needs.