Jennifer Weatherford, an Affordable Housing Advocate VISTA serving with the Texoma Council of Governments (TCOG), is creating a sense of coordination and collaboration between the many agencies and resources available to the homeless throughout the north Texoma area. As part of her advocacy for affordable housing, she has been attending monthly homeless and veteran’s coalition meetings to network and develop solutions and strategies to help the homeless overcome barriers to housing. Jennifer is compiling a Public Housing Authority (PHA) master list, which includes all of the PHAs in the 12 county area that TCOG’s Aging and Disability Resource Center serves, their contact information, pertinent information regarding housing preferences, and number of units and/or vouchers attached to the authority. This master list will be updated as new 5-year and Annual Plans are released and will provide invaluable information for housing referrals to neighboring counties. She has also begun the arduous process of organizing a counties-wide resource and informational expo for landlords interested in providing or developing affordable and transitional housing projects for low income families, disabled persons, seniors, and veterans within their community.
Jennifer Weatherford is a VISTA serving at the Texoma Council of Government’s (TCOG) Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) as an affordable housing advocate. TCOG and the ADRC’s core mission is all about building better leaders in the community, bringing in additional resources to the region, and improving the quality of life for Texomans. During her first month with the agency, Jennifer has worked to help coordinate available resources across Texoma and the 12 counties in North Texas that the ADRC serves to support local veterans, disabled individuals, and low-income families in the communities. As part of her service she traveled to east Texas, nearly three hours from her service site, to sit with the Texarkana Homeless coalition and East Texas Veteran’s Resource Center and discuss the steps needed to reach a functional zero in veteran homelessness in the east Texas community. It would be the first time in months that a representative from TCOG could attend a function in Texarkana, and the possibilities for future partnerships looks optimistic.
As a VISTA with Aging and Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC) at Texoma Council of Governments (TCOG), you will help end poverty by writing grants to develop affordable and/or transitional housing within the Texoma region and to create opportunities for employment for persons with disabilities or who are over age 60. Major functions will include becoming familiar with the community and the issues concerning the housing shortage, researching grant funding opportunities in-line with the project goals, preparing a minimum of 6 grant applications with goal of raising $250,000. Applicants should possess good researching skills, strong verbal and writing communication skills, and computer skills.