Helping the homeless one life at a time

As the director of homeless services for Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM), Valerie Salas often feels like Batman putting on his cape.

She leads a team of five assisting one of the city’s most vulnerable and challenging populations: people experiencing chronic homelessness.

Most of them are not candidates for more conventional homeless services due to mental illness, physical disabilities or substance abuse issues. Salas’ team meets them where they are, whether it’s on CAM’s downtown campus or the streets. When they’re ready, CAM will help them with other needs, such as ID recovery, employment, housing, and other support services.

Restoring the lives of young women rescued from sex trafficking

Youth Center of Texas Restoring Lives

Residents of the Youth Center of Texas are in many ways typical young women in their late teens and early twenties. They love music, clothes, doing their hair and nails and making plans for the future.

To look at them, you’d never know they are all survivors of sex trafficking in San Antonio.

They’re now receiving comprehensive care through YCOT, the only residential facility in Bexar County providing support services exclusively to young women aged 18-22 who have experienced sexual exploitation or trafficking.

SVPSA discusses how to support mental health programs for youth

Social Venture Partners San Antonio hosted a sold out crowd of community leaders who gathered to learn more about how to support the mental health programs helping youth in our area. Why was this so important to SVPSA? Our focus is to cultivate an ongoing learning journey helping us to discover how to give better and to dig deep into … Read More

Helping nonprofits grow with strategic grant writing

Arlene Siller

Arlene Siller didn’t intend to start a business offering grant writing services to nonprofits.

As a scientist with a Ph.D. in biochemistry, her early forays into grant writing were a necessary undertaking to fund scientific research. In the process, she developed the skills to secure millions of dollars in grant funding.

SVPSA Announces the 2023-2024 Fellowship

Social Venture Partners San Antonio is pleased to announce Class 4 of our Leadership Fellowship, made up of 20 outstanding nonprofit leaders who begin in September. The Fellowship was developed out of conversations with nonprofits to address some of their professional development needs. We designed the day’s content to strengthen nonprofit executive level leaders to round out their skills. The 7 month program, that is held September – March of each year includes 6 full day sessions (we do not meet in December) with dozens of experts from all areas to share their experience and tools for success.

Creating a world-class park in San Antonio

One of the best parts of Shannon Perry’s job is when she sees children leaving a show at the Magik Theater. As soon as they turn to see Yanaguana Garden at Hemisfair, their eyes get bigger, their jaws drop and they start running with joy toward the colorful, vibrant playground next door.  

“That never gets old,” she said. “I love seeing the faces of those kids.”

Supporting moms and families

When Tia Gibson’s younger brother died tragically, she was lost in grief. 
“I didn’t realize how deep-rooted it was. I didn’t know how to deal with it, but I knew I still had my children to take care of,” Gibson said. “I decided I needed to do something that would allow me to feel again and to live out his legacy.”

That’s when she decided to start Monster Moms…

Pairing young people with caring mentors

Gable Crowder learned early on the difference having a positive role model makes in a kid’s life. Growing up in the projects of Baltimore, he was the only kid he knew who had a father at home…

Helping children with disabilities soar

SVPSA Partner Sharon Krietzburg never intended to be the executive director of a nonprofit. She was working part-time for one when the founders decided to shut it down. Krietzburg, now fully committed to the mission, decided to continue the work she was passionate about: providing once-in-a-lifetime vacations to San Antonio for children with disabilities and their families from all over the U.S.

Advancing and engaging people with disabilities

Melanie Cawthon was working with people with intellectual disabilities when she discovered her calling. She saw that while many organizations exist to help people with specific disabilities, a person or their caregiver dealing with multiple disabilities would need to find three, four or more different agencies to get assistance. The city needed a unified community of service providers. That insight … Read More