Attendants talk in front of the Bell County Help Center during an October open house day in Killeen.

Attendants talk in front of the Bell County Help Center during an October open house day in Killeen. 

Jaime Villanueva

If it wasn’t for the help the United Way provides in terms of financial backing, the Killeen Help Center would be in “sad straights,” according to the center’s new Executive Director Steven Wicks.

This year, the center will receive $23,500 in funds from the United Way.

“It’s hard to determine what percentage of our annual budget comes from the United Way because we receive funding from a multitude of different sources,” he said. “The United Way funding is a very valuable part of our budget and we rely heavily on whatever support they can provide us.”

Wicks said the United Way money serves a two-fold purpose at the center.

“The money is free and clear to be used for direct services and it can also be used as a matching amount to secure additional funds via federal monies,” he added. “In an agency like ours, which is deeply supported by the community, these funds are crucial to our survival as an outreach service.”

Maria Foster, office manager, said the Killeen Help Center is appreciative of any money it receives. “Every penny we get gets put back into the community to help our citizens,” she said.

The agency provides help for Killeen-area residents who need assistance with paying their utilities, child care services, educational classes, ID cards, birth certificates, case management and other services.

“What we strive to do here is rather than give a person a fish, we teach them to fish,” Wicks said. “Our ultimate goal is to alleviate the reason behind the need to begin with and to get to the root of the problem to avoid future issues.”

The Killeen Help Center is at 718 N. Second St., Suite B in Killeen.

For more information call 254-519-3360.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at or 254-501-7567.

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