Nonprofit Spotlight: November 2020
Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM) is deeply grateful to the Houston / Harris County community for the tremendous support during these extraordinary times. NAM’s service area was one of the hardest hit areas of Harris County in two ways – Northwest Houston has a lot of positive COVID-19 cases and the economic hit has been devastating. Many businesses are shut down or are laying off workers, and thousands of families are trying to live with reduced incomes or no incomes.
NAM continues to assist the increasing number of families seeking food, rent assistance, medical care, domestic violence intervention and other emergency help – most for the first time in their life. Taking steps to streamline our services, the intake process has reduced the amount of time needed to provide help and minimize personal contact between clients and our staff – helping us all stay healthy.
Our Family Violence Assistance Center served clients remotely for several months, taking hot line calls and providing all services just as we did when the staff worked on-site. NAM’s Pediatric Health Center and Counseling Services are incorporating Tele-Medicine into client visits whenever possible. Obviously, this reduces patient staff contact. NAM’s Training and Learning Center has converted to on-line classes and Meals on Wheels now delivers a week’s worth of meals every Monday to over 900 seniors. We are also phoning our seniors and checking in on them regularly.
In August, 2020, NAM began partnering with the Houston Food Bank and Spring ISD to facilitate a supersite food give-away. Every other Tuesday around 2,000 families pick up 70 pounds of produce, meat and dairy products we distribute at Planet Ford Stadium or at IAH Airport.
The increases we are seeing in requests for assistance are far above what we originally budgeted, so NAM continues to communicate these challenges with our donors through direct mail, e-mail and social media. We remain thankful for this community, which has repeatedly supported NAM during times of distress and we all count on that continuing.
During this unprecedented time, NAM will strive to provide basic human needs in a manner that serves and protects staff, volunteers and clients. NAM is proud to report that while staying open and serving thousands in our community over the past 5 months there has not been a single case of COVID-19 reported by any NAM team member.
A wonderful success story, which happened to be picked up by the BBC, is about our client, Greg, a single parent:
Greg is a single father with three daughters ages 7, 12, and 16. He was already living paycheck to paycheck, but the COVID-19 pandemic erased what remained of his income.
Greg was facing eviction. His mobile auto repair business rapidly slowed down with the Stay Home, Work Safe Order that was put in place in Houston. For his business, that meant fewer cars on the road that he would be called to fix.
Although evictions were not being filed, he was told that he and his daughters would be locked out of their apartment. He was getting ready to sell everything he owned to pay the rent when someone told him about Northwest Assistance Ministries.
Greg came to NAM on a Monday to apply for rental assistance. He came to NAM in despair, but left with hope. To date, NAM has paid 3 months of rent for him and his 3 girls to stay in their apartment.
Now, with the city gradually reopening, he is getting back on his feet again. Greg said he is extremely grateful to NAM for being here and helping him. His oldest daughter said that even though this has been a tough time for them, she admires her father for his strength. The family even agrees that this difficult time has brought them closer together as a family.
Currently NAM is preparing for our Season of Blessings when we will provide Holiday Meals both in November and December along with holiday gifts to over 1,700 families.
To support NAM during this Season of Blessings:
- Holiday Food (Frozen turkeys, canned green beans, stuffing, canned sweet potatoes etc.)
- Gifts – New unwrapped gifts for children 0-12 under $20
- Financial donations are always appreciated.