Each month we will highlight a few of the faith-based Houston nonprofits who are serving our community. Learn more here about the recent activities of Elijah Rising, Loving Houston, Mission of Yahweh, and West Houston Assistance Ministries. If you feel called to assist them, please visit their websites below.
Elijah Rising is ending sex trafficking through prayer, awareness, intervention, and restoration.
Despite the challenges of 2020, Elijah Rising has experienced many successes. This year, our social enterprise was able to hire three residences from our restorative care program. We launched the Elijah Rising podcast in February and it now has over 3,000 listeners across six continents. One of the largest achievements of the year is the production of a feature film for our virtual gala on October 17th entitled Restored: She Will Rise. The film will feature true stories of hope and victory over sex trafficking based entirely on testimonies from our work in Houston. This will be a one-night-only event and our goal is to raise $200,000 to support the work of restorative care, direct outreach, increased awareness, and sustained prayer. We are already 25% of the way there and looking forward to the evening.
We currently have need of the following tangible resources which are needed to care for the women we serve:
- A fast, affordable, and reliable internet solution for our 80+ acre rural property that has no access to the infrastructure need to establish basic internet.
- New windows for one 50-year-old home on our Restoration Campus. There are about 40 windows in this one home.
- Pickup Truck (and trailer, closed or open) to be utilized by our Restoration Campus and Social Enterprise.
- Free, or very reduced rate, contractor services (roofing, painting, plumbing, etc.) and/or building materials (drywall, paint, etc.).
Prior to COVID-19, there was already a great need for churches and schools to work together to ensure that the physical, emotional, and academic needs of students are met. Now as a result of COVID-19, these needs are being exacerbated and much more support is needed. The church school partnership model allows these needs to be met in a personal and strategic way, connecting thousands of church volunteers along with their resources and networks with children and families facing real challenges right in their neighborhoods. Two-hundred seventy-nine schools across Greater Houston already have an active church partner, and we look forward to helping deepen these relationships this year so that more students can be cared for and invested in. Also, more than one-hundred additional schools have asked Loving Houston for a church partner this year. Your support would help to ensure that every single one of these schools has a committed, caring church partner before the end of the year as requested.
For more information about how you or your church can help, please contact Marilyn Lee at email@example.com or 832-280-7089.
Mission of Yahweh
After many months of sheltering in place, we reopened the campus this Month to new residents, and our occupancy has increased by 20. New residents are placed in 14 days of quarantine upon arrival, unless a negative COVID 19 test is presented. Current residents have been given more freedom to leave the campus for approved trips, and many of our staff working remotely have returned. Volunteers are now helping with our food distribution ministry to the neighborhood, and we are looking forward to welcoming back many more of our regular volunteers in October and November.
During the pandemic we moved to a virtual mode of operations for worship services and classes, and our school age children are involved with virtual instruction and learning. We are blessed to have a full-time Pastor/Chaplain on campus during these challenging times to provide counseling for our residents.
We are extremely grateful for God’s continued protection, provision and guidance. Fortunately, none of our staff or residents have the virus.
Please continue to pray for us as we need your support now more than ever.
In His service, Rick Hill
West Houston Assistance Ministries
What a year 2020 has been! As a nonprofit helping the homeless, individuals and families in need, this year has been a year for the records. When in a normal year we would have served around 40,000 individuals with food, financial assistance, employment and seasonal programs, this year, we have already served over 90,000! Most have needed help with food as they lost jobs, have been furloughed, had work hours slashed, or had precarious economic situations compounded by the challenges of the pandemic. Likewise, however, we have seen a spike in those families close to eviction and homelessness due to being unable to pay their rent, mortgages, or utility bills. Financial assistance is being provided, but these funds are limited and are quickly being depleted. We project that with infections continuing, causing businesses to continue working under uncertainty, furloughing or laying off workers, and not re-hiring to the level they were before the pandemic, we should continue to see the high level of need for food and financial assistance that we have thru at least the first quarter of next year.
Because we would like to help around 30 families daily 3 days per week with up to $1000 of financial assistance (for rent, utilities or other emergency needs), we anticipate needing around $2,160,000 from October 2020 – March 2021, just for direct assistance to these families. We also project needing $270,000 to cover program staff costs, and $480,000 for administration costs to run all of our programs and facility thru March.
Currently, we are serving over 2500 individuals across our programs per week. This does not include those we have continued to help with our critical seasonal programs that help take some of the burden off of these struggling families’s minds – namely, our Back to School Supplies and Backpacks which we gave out to over 800 children from preschool to 12th grade in August, nor the 1000 children we will provide Christmas toys and gift cards to in December, or the 500 families that will receive grocery store gift cards so they can purchase their Thanksgiving or Christmas meal and also experience some relief and joy to celebrate the holiday season. We will collect both toys, gift cards and funds from anyone able and wanting to help us with this program coming up really soon. To help with financial assistance, or any of these many needs, please contact Mercedes Santos-Garay at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 832-266-1489.