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Local organization awarded veterans mental health grant for support services

Army Veteran, Sgt. Major Verlene Dickson Army Veteran, Sgt. Major Verlene Dickson
Amarillo, TX - A local organization has received $100,000 to help local veterans.

For veterans who need help getting back on their feet, Family Support Services is now offering, despite ongoing construction, a Drop-in Resource Center to provide immediate assistance for not only vets, but also their families.

The Texas Veterans Commission awarded almost $7 million to organizations in the state to provide direct support to Texas veterans.

$100,000 was given to Family Support Services in Amarillo as part of the first veterans mental health grant in the country. This money goes toward developing a Drop-In Resource Center, where free services are provided.

According to Jim Womack, Family Support Services Executive Director, the center isn't just for veterans, but also their families.

"Sometimes families don't have access to the same services that veterans do, so this way they'll receive counseling," Womack said. "And also surviving spouses, we're going to be providing services to them. A lot of times their services are cut off, you know after their partner passes away."

The money also goes toward hiring a director for the center, who happens to be 27-year Sgt. Maj. Army veteran, Verlene Dickson.

"As far as coming in and finding out where there's resources, I know when I got out of the military, I've been out for about a year now, and when I got out, the only place I knew to go was to the workforce, but as far as going somewhere else, aside of the VFW, there was nowhere else to go," Dickson said. "And so I think this will benefit. As far as the grant that was put on the table for this resource center, I think it's going to benefit the community very well."

Dickson said the center does not require appointments and also has in-house agencies to help veterans. Mental health therapy sessions, job resources, crafts, and peer to peer counseling are a few of the things the center offers.

Dickson said if you trust her, she will not give up on a vet and their family's needs.

The center is currently open for business from 8 to 8 at 10th and S. Taylor in Amarillo.
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