Our Community Services program provides two types of assistance for qualifying community members in Williamson and Burnet Counties.
- We offer Case Management for our Self-Sufficiency Program. We have three, experienced Case Managers who carry out social services in our community. Case management helps our community members transition out of poverty and provides the resources they need to be self-sufficient.
- We also offer a Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), to assist low-income households with their heating and electric bills.
Get to Know Our Team
Kori Ince is our Director of Community Services. She oversees both the Self-Sufficiency and CEAP programs.
Our CEAP team includes Samantha Tallent – Intake Coordinator, Amavelly Bolanos – Intake Processor, and Dora Mireles – Intake Processor. This team processes CEAP applications, evaluates program data, and works with clients in need each and every day.
Our Self-Sufficiency/Case Manager team includes Christina Sefton and Rebecca Orozco, who cover Williamson County, and Donna Wheeler, who covers Burnet County.
We sat down with the Case Managers this month, to celebrate National Social Work Month, and also, to learn a little bit more about what they do.
OWBC: Why did you decide to work in social services?
Christina: My experience working in the social service world began when I was young. I saw my mother helping people from Mexico and also got involved in helping the Catholic church we attended. She made a point that it’s important to help those in need because you never know when you might find yourself needing help as well. I totally agree, and I really enjoy helping others. It gives me a sense of accomplishing something that is needed in my community.
Rebecca: I chose this line of work because I love to help people who want to help themselves but don’t know where to start. It gives me a great sense of joy to work with someone and watch them go from overwhelmed to empowered. I learn as much from my clients as they learn from me. This field is so rewarding!
Donna: I started in 2008 working in a Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault shelter where I learned barriers my clients struggled with looking for housing, jobs, daycare, life skills, etc. I was ready to change employers, so I started job searching and found OWBC. I researched the organization and found all the great programs offered to Burnet County residents. I’m now a Case Manager and enjoy going out in the community, speaking about the great things OWBC’s doing to empower families to become self-sufficient.
OWBC: Share a client story (without real names) that means a lot to you.
Christina: I helped a young, single mother with 2 children find employment at Randall’s grocery store through a job training course, which she really enjoyed. I continued to help her as my client for almost 2 years and watched her reach her goal. Her income increased when she transferred to another Randall’s for a manager’s assistant position. She called me and wanted to thank me in person for encouraging and supporting her through a rough time she thought would never end. I felt enormously happy for her that she had accomplished her goal and was compelled to continue to do better for herself and her children by going back to school.
Rebecca: I am currently working with a single mom who works full-time and is getting ready to pursue her Associate’s Degree. She recently had a baby and is determined to set the best example of dedication and perseverance for her children. I can’t wait to see where she is in her process nine months from now. It’s such a privilege to be welcomed to this season with her!
Donna: I had the pleasure of working with a young lady last year who had a brain tumor and one kidney removed because of tumors. When I first met with the client, she was going through chemo, working part-time due to health problems, and had been self-sufficient before her health declined. Yet, she still had the motivation to keep going. She was a single mother trying to raise two children alone. CPS had given her custody of her 2-year old niece that the mother and father were unable to provide for. As a Case Manager, I saw potential in the client at first meeting. She just needed some support through this rough time in her life. OWBC was able to help with funding to provide assistance with utilities and other financial barriers that arose, while she was recovering from health issues. The client transitioned out of poverty last year.
OWBC: What do you want people to know about social services, and specifically, this community?
Christina: It doesn’t take money or a lot of your time to volunteer in your community resource places, which is always needed. There are many places that have volunteer opportunities, and when you find yourself helping others, your time passes so quickly. Then, you find yourself going back to help more. It’s a great feeling when you help your community!
Rebecca: I would like to encourage anybody facing a difficult challenge alone to consider searching for a resource to relieve some of the stress. Georgetown is a very generous community. There’s plenty of support available. Those of us in this field love what we do and we’re just waiting for an opportunity to help.
Donna: I feel blessed to meet my clients, and that’s the reason I’m in social services. When I first meet my clients, they need assistance. Then, they bloom into such beautiful flowers. It reminds me daily why my work is so rewarding.
Thank you to our Case Managers for all you do, and Happy Social Work Month! A special thanks to our CEAP team, as well, for providing much needed energy assistance to community members in need.
For more information on our Community Services program, please visit our program page here.