This vital program, holistically enhances the lives of working poor individuals and families to become food secure and increasingly sustainable on a long-term basis.

In this comprehensive program, mentors (trained social workers or case managers) addresses the root causes of chronic poverty by working one-on-one with clients and setting goals to eliminate unique barriers resulting in chronic poverty. CHRC mentors work with each head of household on a monthly basis to assess the barriers contributing to their ongoing food insecurity, financial instability, and other socio-economic factors resulting from poverty.  Then, they empower clients to gain access to tools and resources to advance their lives such as nutritious food, financial literacy skills, healthcare services, etc., by creating a goal-based plan to address and overcome said barriers. Mentors maintain relationships with clients as they work towards accomplishing each goal, offering encouragement, accountability, and grace along the way.

CHRC Mentoring Model

2016 Mentoring Program Outcomes:

  • 154 households completed the mentoring program and no longer require assistance.
  • In 2016, 1,054 emergency food boxes, over 150,000 pounds of clothes, and about 245,000 pounds of food from the pantry were distributed to families in need.
  • CHRC’s pastoral counselor conducted 480 pastoral counseling sessions for individuals and families in need of spiritual guidance and 687 accepted Christ.
  • 87% of client’s report having healthier food in their homes as a result of CHRC assistance
  • Before CHRC, 8% of clients almost always had access to food and 5% always had access to food. After CHRC, 48% of clients almost always had access to food and 25% always had access to food

Meet the Mentors

CHRC Mentor Janiece
Janiece Cantu, BSW
, was called to be a Social Worker at a young age when a wonderful Social Worker helped her understand the value of compassion. She came to CHRC in Spring 2016 as part of her BSW internship program at Our Lady of the Lake University.

She will be completing her Master’s of Social Work program in Spring 2017. Janiece said has learned much more about the value of compassion, the importance of empowerment, and beauty of serving others by serving at CHRC. Because of her awesome work ethic, bright personality, and heart for serving, CHRC proudly brought Janice on the mentor team in the summer following her internship. She has done amazing job and her clients are proof of what a good mentor can do. Keep up the good work, Janiece!

CHRC Mentor Elvie
Elvie Martinez, Case Manager
, was raised in the Westside of San Antonio. As someone who’s been through hard times and found Christ, Elvie wanted to help others do the same. She came to CHRC in 2011 to help people in need with support  and prayer.

After dealing with the many difficulties such as the deaths of her brother and father and providing for her four children as a single mother, she found Christ. Elvie became passionate about helping others and bringing people closer to God. She joined the CHRC team in 2011 and is now CHRC’s Senior Specialist, helping our senior clientele connect with the community. Elvie’s compassion and understanding are what make her a great mother, grandmother, and mentor. We are so happy to have you, Elvie!

CHRC Mentor Maria
Maria Salan, Case Manager, became interested in a career in teaching and social work after living on military bases. Maria loved the way the military community cared for each other, especially on base, and she wanted to bring that level of care to others.

Maria was born in Mexico and moved to the US when she was 22. When she became a military wife, she spent some years in Germany before moving back and settling in San Antonio. At the time, she had a background as a teaching assistant, but joined the Texas Workforce program that brought her to be an intake specialist. She chose CHRC because it helps veterans and military families get back on their feet. Maria has since become a case manager and loves helping people with guidance and support. You rock, Maria!

CHRC Mentor Franzcesca
Franzcesca Guidry-Jackson, LMSW
, became interested in a career in helping people when she was young and idolized Martin Luther King Jr. He and her family members, who are also social workers, helped inspire her to want make a positive change in the world.

Franzcesca lived all over the country with her military family, but settled in San Antonio where she received a BSW from Our Lady of the Lake University and an MSW and licence from University of Texas San Antonio. Her internships brought her to CHRC but she was eventually hired at Arms of Hope, a nonprofit focused on helping families in crisis. Franzcesca works the satellite office at CHRC, which makes her part of the family. She says she is lucky to work in a field where she can help people everyday. You’re great Franzcesca!

CHRC Mentor RubyRuby Ann Sanchez, BSW, is CHRC’s newest mentor, joining the team in Fall 2016. Ruby has an array of expertise such as working 10 years in business management, 15 years in teaching, and 15 years in case management. She has so much offer!

Ruby is certified for Intervention and Prevention to Family Violence and has certifications teach classes such diabetes, financial, nutrition, parent engagement and sex education. Her passion for helping others comes from her personal experience dealing with crisis. Ruby says, “I have learned through experience and have educated myself with a Bachelors degree in Social Work to help those who feel there is no way out.  I feel I am put in this position especially now with CHRC, to help change lives one day at a time.” Thank you, Ruby!

CHRC Director Heather

Heather Pullen, LMSW, became interested in a career in social work after an epiphany she had when she was teaching social studies. She realized that she has the skills to specialize in helping people overcome life obstacles and trauma.

Heather received a degree in history from University of Texas San Antonio but halted her career teaching social studies when she saw children on TV going through a major crisis situation at the time. She wanted to help, so she began working at CPS. She went back to school and earned her MSW in 2013. Though Heather interned at CHRC, she was hired as Director of Social Services at Christian Assistance Ministry. When CHRC needed a Director of Case Management, she jumped at the opportunity. We are so lucky to have Heather!