The people who need us most right now – those who count on HAAM to provide a safety net during periods of unemployment, underemployment, illness, disability, disaster and/or other tough times – are being hard hit. As people have work hours drastically cut or lose their jobs altogether (a large number of the people we serve are service industry workers), care for children who would otherwise have access to care and food at school, and work to manage the stress of it all, they need help. They need help with food, rent/utilities, prescription medications and clothing. They need help with accessing non-cash benefits and mental health services. And they need help applying for jobs and finding new work. We need your help to help them.
Currently, HAAM is working with clergy and other social service staff from our covenant congregations to identify and provide outreach to clusters of people in need of assistance as a result of COVID-19. In the same way, we are in close and ongoing communication with Humble and New Caney ISDs and local police departments and are using these relationships to communicate distribute food and communicate the availability of financial assistance programs. In addition, in an effort to keep our clients, volunteers and staff safe while working to provide support for individuals and families, our case managers and other front-line staff are working from home to ensure we remain engaged with clients and provide as much assistance and support as possible during this time.
Modifications to HAAM’s operations during the pandemic are based on lessons learned from the agency’s extensive experience during times of natural disaster. In addition to responding to needs related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, HAAM was the primary provider of disaster relief to the Lake Houston Area following Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The agency also provided critical client and community support in response to Hurricane Ike (2008), the Memorial Day Flood (2015), the Tax Day Flood (2016) and Tropical Storm Imelda (2019).
It is important to note that the community services that HAAM offers are provided, in large part, through our organization’s resale operations. This revenue supports our programming and funds general operations. Monetary donations will not only help replace these lost revenues, but will help ensure that we can continue carrying out our important mission, especially during such difficult and uncertain times.
We hope you will support our efforts to continue our work, modify operations to keep clients, volunteers and staff safe, and even expand services in response to the growing needs related to coronavirus. “HAAM has been helping community members in need for thirty years, including during times of disaster,” reflects Millie Garrison, HAAM’s Executive Director. “Now is no different. With your help, we will be on the front lines, providing help and hope during the pandemic and beyond.”