1. Texas A&M University Center for Housing and Urban Development
Webb County has an established partnership with the Texas A&M University – (College Station) – Center for Housing and Urban Development - Colonias Program (CHUD-CP) since 1995. This partnership has established community centers throughout the colonias of Webb County such as the Larga Vista Community Center, El Cenizo Centro Comunitario and the Rio Bravo Community Center. The partnership further flourished through the purchase of a compressed block-making machine.
The Webb County CAA Self-Help Center constructed a compressed earth block tool library with Texas A&M CHUD – Colonias Program providing the building design, foundation plans, specifications and concrete reinforce compressed block composition. At this time, Webb County and the CHUD-CP are partnering to develop a project that will provide water filtering systems for homes in the colonias
2. Texas A&M International University
Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) has partnered with several community partners including Webb County to submit and if awarded, implement a three (3) year U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Hispanic Serving Institution Assisting Communities (HSIAC) Program. Other community partners include the Streets of Laredo Urban Mall Association, Webb County Heritage Foundation, Azteca Economic Development and Preservation Corporation, Laredo-Webb Neighborhood Housing Services, City of Laredo Community Development Department, Laredo Community College, South Texas Workforce Solutions and the Laredo Development Foundation.
The purpose of the HSIAC program is to stimulate economic development in the downtown area and specifically the Central Business District. HSIAC Program objectives include strengthening business development, to increase access to housing, education and job preparedness. Webb County contributions to the HSIAC Program include the provision of Economic Development Department staff for CBD trainings and workshops.
3. Laredo Family Economic Success Coalition’s (LFESC)
The goal of the Laredo Family Economic Success Coalition’s (LFESC) is to help low-income residents build assets and become financially independent by the promotion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. LFESC members include the Azteca Economic Development and Preservation Corporation, the city of Laredo Community Development Department, U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Laredo Area Community Foundation, Laredo Independent School District, the Laredo Public Library, the South Texas Workforce Development Board, Texas A&M International University and the United Independent School District.
Webb County has established a partnership with the LFESC through the submission and subsequent award of an AmeriCorps*VISTA 2008 program funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The AmeriCorps*VISTA 2008 project will allow Webb County to assist the LFESC toward achieving its goal through the provision of three (3) AmeriCorps*VISTA members to implement volunteer training, marketing and recruitment of VITA volunteers and meet the following goals:
Goal A: Establishment of a minimum of six (6) VITA program sites that shall operate during the tax season within the Webb County – City of Laredo AmeriCorps*VISTA project area.
Goal B: One thousand five hundred (1,500) income tax forms will be submitted from low income families in the one year AmeriCorps*VISTA project period.
Goal C: Fifty (5) volunteers will receive training and thirty-five (35) trained and certified basic income tax preparers will be available for scheduling and placement at VITA program sites during the tax season.
4. Webb County Rural Water Supply Corporations
Webb County has established partnerships with three (3) Webb County rural water supply corporations – the Bruni Water Supply Corporation, the Oilton Water Supply Corporation and the Mirando Water Supply Corporation to drill water wells in each of the communities served by these water supply corporations. Approximately $180,000 will be allocated to each of these water supply corporations through an Office of Rural and Community Affairs (ORCA)/Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) grant to drill the wells and provide for associated pumps, the installation of reverse osmosis and monitoring/measuring equipment, and the laying of pipe.
5. Community Outdoor Outreach Program Schools and Groups Partnership
Webb County has acquired a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) – Community Outdoor Outreach Program grant to take approximately 650 low-income, minorities, at-risk, special needs students from the inner city and rural areas to visit various State Parks. In addition, recreational workshops relating to hiking, camping, birding and fishing will be given to the students. Webb County has partnered with the following schools and groups to accomplish program objectives: Texas A&M International University, Laredo Community College, the Larga Vista Community Center, the Buenos Aires Community Center, J.Z. Leyendecker Elementary School, Webb County JJAEP, Salvador Garcia Middle School, Charles Borchers Elementary School, Lyndon B. Johnson High School, Zaffirini Elementary School, Trautmann Middle School, Santo Niño Elementary School and Cigarroa High School.
6. The Laredo Regional Food Bank
Webb County has formed a partnership with the Laredo Regional Food Bank, the City of Laredo and Texas A&M University (College Station) – Colonias/Extension Programs, through the submission of a grant to “Tom’s of Maine: 50 States to Healthy Goodness Grants Program.” This initiative will form part of a colonia nutritional eating outreach program. Colonia residents in Webb County will have the option to attend a series of general nutrition, diet planning and cooking workshops. The Laredo Regional Food Bank serves senior citizen feeding programs, emergency food box programs, mission centers, youth homes, group homes, churches, other emergency relief agencies, and the community at large.