Advocacy center expands services in new space

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Daily snacks are available.

By Julian Gonzales

The student advocacy center has moved from Chance Academic Center to the center for academic enrichment.

The center has two floors, which has allowed more space for existing services and the addition of new services.

The center now houses a call center for appointments to social service agencies and the counseling center and additional space for its food pantry and clothes closet.

The services of the advocacy center are available for students, faculty and staff.

“Services for the advocacy center have expanded, and the floors have created more space in order to get more help in a bigger area,” social work administrator Pamela Frias said in an interview Sept. 5.

A snack program allows students to grab one drink and one food item per day.

They don’t turn people away if the students need more food, she said. Instead the center offers food applications.

Snacks available are chips, cookies, pop tarts, and drinks include water and sodas.

The Magic Closet offers used clothing. It is divided into a section for career clothing called “Dress for Success” and a clothes closet of other attire.

The “Dress for Success” portion allows one outfit per visit when students, faculty or children need formal or professional clothing for events such as interviews.

Lab coats and goggles for science labs are available.

People must set up an appointment and can get two bags of clothing a month from the clothes closet.

“The clothing comes from all over,” Counselor Maria T. Gomez said Sept. 26. She oversees intake at the advocacy center.

Anyone may donate clothing in Room 101 of the academic enrichment center.

The center’s food pantry gets donations from the San Antonio Food Bank.

“The main community organization that the advocacy center works with is the San Antonio Food Bank,” Frias said.

To obtain food from the center’s food pantry, people fill out a data sheet, a self-assessment form, the San Antonio Food Bank partners pantry family intake form, a visits form, and a food and pantry guidelines form.

Food insecurity at the college is high to the point that “44 percent of students are food insecure,” Frias said.

To access services, people go to the lobby inside the main entrance and sign in with their Banner ID.

The hours for the center are from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. the first Saturday of every month.

For more information, call 210-486-1003.


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