Friday, December 8, 2023

UTSA alumnus is on a mission to help recently rehoused veterans feel at home

UTSA alumnus is on a mission to help recently rehoused veterans feel at home

VetStrong volunteers sort through furniture donated to veterans.

(July 6, 2018) -- A UTSA alumnus and U.S. Army veteran is helping fellow veterans make their house a home.  James Pobanz ’14, ‘17 is a co-founder of VetStrong, a nonprofit that provides furniture and other home essentials to previously homeless veterans.

Pobanz and co-founder Barbara Walz saw a need to give back to the military community after learning that recently rehoused veterans had places to live but no beds, chairs or tables. Walz, a nurse at a veterans hospital, noticed that these circumstances impacted their health.

“A house is more than just an edifice,” said Pobanz. “It’s a place where one finds comfort, solace and strength. We want to help our veterans successfully reintegrate back into society, and furnishing a house is one way to do that.”

Pobanz garnered enough community support to assist veterans and families in Bexar County.  Thanks to the generous support of the community and city leaders, VetStrong was able to acquire a warehouse to store donations. 

VetStrong is also teaming up with TXServes San Antonio, a coordinated network of public, private and nonprofit organizations serving veterans, service members and their families in San Antonio and Bexar County. TXServes provides thousands of service members, veterans and their families access to a continuum of providers for emergency services, employment, recreation, financial capabilities and more. When someone reaches out for help for donation of furniture, TXServes sends a request to all nonprofits that deliver this service. VetStrong can accept the request and offer assistance.

VetStrong officially launches in July with a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 7 at its warehouse located at 1735 Babcock Rd. in San Antonio. Donations of lightly used or new household items such as lamps, beds, couches, nightstands, linens and chairs will be accepted.

Michelle Skidmore

Learn more about VetStrong or email the organization.

Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.

UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.



University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.