I am so excited to introduce you to a new non-profit that I have helped to found: Texas GPS. Texas GPS’s mission is to help families navigate the special needs world. Helping to start Texas GPS is a ministry for us—a way to minister to special needs families.
As you know, over the years, the Weeks Law Firm has helped families with sons and daughters with special needs plan for their child’s future, using special needs trusts, estate planning, guardianship and other alternatives. The Firm has provided special needs trusts and guardianship trainings and educational workshops to hundreds of people, including parents, educators, service providers, attorneys, and financial advisors.
The families who come to us deeply love their child with disabilities. They work hard to provide everything their child needs to live a good life. But many of the parents we’ve helped over the years were lost—they did not know what government benefits were available for their child or how to apply for and access those services, or they knew about the government benefits but were frustrated trying to apply for them. Many didn’t know what other resources were available, or perhaps even how to find a dentist or therapist for their child.
We love these families and our hearts hurt for them. I know what it’s like to try to find services for your child, and I know what it’s like to have no one to turn to. I was in Leadership Plano for a year, and when I came out of that program I knew my goal was to help these families. I researched different options and realized that a big need was not being met, and I felt that God was calling me to take a leap of faith and create an organization to meet those needs.
Lena Carrera was in my Leadership Plano class, and we discovered that we shared a love for people with disabilities and their families and a vision of helping these families. When Lena left My Possibilities, she joined our firm as our Director of Community Outreach.
As part of our discussion about how to help families, I decided to underwrite the formation of Texas GPS, and Lena has agreed to lead the development of the Organization’s Board of Directors and help formulate the mission and vision for the Organization.
Over the next few months, Texas GPS will be organizing and conducting workshops to help families understand SSI/Medicaid and Medicaid waiver programs and offering consultations to review benefits and help apply for services. Texas GPS will be issuing a newsletter regarding up-to-the-minute special needs law issues, Texas government programs and events. Texas GPS is currently working to develop a complete website of resources available in North Texas, with lists of day programs, therapists, residential facilities, and other services available to people with disabilities and their families, and we expect the launch of the website in the coming months.
As part of its mission, Texas GPS has hired Teresa Center to assist families in understanding government benefits programs and how to apply for them. Teresa is an experienced, certified advocate who has spent the last four years with For Families of Special Needs, helping families apply for SSI/Medicaid and understand all of the Medicaid Waiver Programs and eligibility requirements. Texas GPS is blessed to have her.
Texas GPS is a ministry for us. We are obeying God’s call to help those who cannot help themselves, to bring solutions and even joy to these families, and to love others. Texas GPS is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, but I want you to know that we are doing this because God first loved us, and his love overflows out of us and into others.
I hope you will join Texas GPS in its mission to help families navigate the complicated special needs world.