Rural Economic Assistance League, Inc. (REAL Inc.)
- Program Representative Interviewed: Martín Ornelas, Director
- Location: Alice, Texas
Program Overview: Rural Economic Assistance
League, Inc. (REAL Inc.) is a health and human services nonprofit serving the area
between San Antonio, Texas and the U.S.-Mexico border. REAL Inc. aims to support the communities
it serves by providing adult day care; home healthcare; subsidized housing; and public
transportation to the elderly, persons with disabilities, and families residing in its service
area. REAL operates 8 housing facilities and 5 adult day activity care centers.
REAL Inc. is implementing a program using an integrated behavioral health model called the Transportation for Rural Integrated Health Partnership (TRIP). This program is funded through the Methodist Healthcare Ministries' Sí Texas: Social Innovation for a Healthy South Texas project. The program addresses the critical need for transportation access in the region for rural residents with severe mental illness. It is improving health outcomes and well-being for this population, as well as reducing no-show medical appointment rates. The TRIP program provides transportation to health and wellness appointments, programming focused on improving health literacy, and also provides social support to participants.