Based in Sherman, Texas, the Texoma Council of Governments (TCOG) has won a 2019 Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Award from the National Association of Development Organizations for providing Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World. The award is based on qualitative and quantitative data about the root causes of poverty, and the data showed that mental healthcare access is a pressing need in the Texoma region.

TCOG provides many “getting by” resources: need-based emergency assistance for things like utilities and rent. Getting Ahead represents a new kind of resource, one that helps people transition out of poverty rather than addressing the immediate needs they experience. With the poverty level in the Texoma area at 13%, Getting Ahead is needed and fits in well with other efforts to help stabilize the community.

The faith community plays an integral role in TCOG’s Getting Ahead offering as well. The program is made possible through a partnership with MasterKey Ministries. MasterKey describes itself as “a nonprofit faith-based organization strengthening families by helping them overcome physical, educational and spiritual obstacles to success. We focus on the low-income and limited-English populations in our community, offering programs to help meet immediate needs [and] empowerment programs that lead to a better future.”

Other initiatives from TCOG that were recognized with impact awards were the Texoma Behavioral Health Leadership Team and the Fannin County Food Project.

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