A Senator Endorses SPC's Capacity to Serve the Heroes

August 10, 2018

Public Information Officer


- In his first visit to the center, a senator walks in his passion as he tours the facility" to learn about the program here and the good work they are doing, and to draw attention to it. They do tremendous work here."

Created in 2011 immediately following the end of the Iraq War, the St. Philip's College Good Samaritan Veterans Outreach and Transition Center (GSVOTC) opened as a standalone facility at 202 Connelly St. on Aug. 9 of 2017, demonstrating the intent of the college in partnership with the City of San Antonio to ensure the most modern and effective free outreach systems for human services benefits for veterans.

While U.S. Sen. The Honorable Ted Cruz was not one of the statespeople providing proclamations and congratulatory letters for the opening of the one-of-a-kind center in 2017, the center has been on his radar because its team has provided a bevy of critical free services for veterans in Military City USA since one year before he began serving his country as a senator in 2012.

Since grand opening in 2017 alone, the center has engaged over 7,000 transitioning armed forces personnel and while that number includes 4,386 personnel at outreach events throughout the community, the figure also includes 2,705 who have received service within the facility through 113 workshops and seminars sponsored or conducted. The center is an innovative interagency public intake site where any veteran in Military City USA can come for assistance in higher education, training and assistance programs beyond the bevy offered for veterans who are students enrolled within the Alamo Colleges District. Continuity of commitment to all veterans through the center and interagency team is facilitated, as the center is a City of San Antonio-owned facility currently in a 25-year lease with Alamo Colleges District (2011-2036) to provide the personalized services and referrals to all of Military City USA's active duty, national guard, reserve, retired veterans, their families and the community through partnerships with independent service providers. Widely considered a unique best practice partnership for a municipality and a postsecondary institution, the free center service includes such partners as Armed Forces Services Corporation, Goodwill Industries of San Antonio, Grace After Fire, U.S. Veterans Administration, and U.S. Small Business Administration.

The center team has observed its anniversary by working hard this week. And earlier this week, the senator walked in his passion as he visited the center facility in multiple capacities---as a statesman concerned about the state of Texas as a home to military defense site business and as a statesman listening to concerns of constituents with business interests in the growing Eastside of San Antonio area that also includes the government business unit known as Joint Base Fort Sam Houston, the Alamo City Black Chamber that is both an economic engine and a center tenant, and the 120-year-old Alamo Colleges District business unit known as St. Philip's College.

In between addressing this diverse range of interests through field visits at several locations in San Antonio in a week of hiatus status for Congress, the senator provided an unsolicited ringing endorsement for the center based on personal acquaintance during an appointment his team arranged at the center for a tour, a roundtable and interviews with reporters.

"We just finished touring the Good Samaritan Veterans Outreach and Transition Center," the senator said to one reporter. "They do tremendous work here, helping veterans, both men and women who are transitioning from active duty to veteran status, and also veterans in the community, helping them get jobs, helping them with employment training, helping them with mental health counseling... helping them with all the needs that veterans have. 

"We toured the center to learn about the program here and the good work they are doing, and to draw attention to it. We also just did a roundtable with community leaders to really listen to the concerns, listen to the concerns of the community, what challenges people are facing and what sort of solutions can make a real difference in expanding opportunity.

"I am doing lots of roundtables... with small business owners... with veterans... doing roundtables with the minority community, and just listening to the challenges. I think the first three quarters of the meeting, I spent listening and not talking... to listen to the concerns and talk through the solutions... how do we expand opportunity, how do we make it so that more people in communities in San Antonio and across Texas can climb that economic ladder and achieve the American dream. That really for me is my passion," the senator said near the conclusion of his hiatus week interview with the reporter at St. Philip's College's Good Samaritan Veterans Outreach and Transition Center.

Find details on the center from the center team at spc-gsvotc@alamo.com.