Photo by Hope Haven

Northwest Houston nonprofits brace for continuing rise in COVID-19 cases | By Chevall Pryce | June 26, 2020

Local nonprofits are requesting donations of food and funds as businesses scale back on occupancy per orders of Governor Greg Abbott and cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the state of Texas and Harris County.

Service nonprofits Cypress Assistance Ministries and Hope Haven have both continued to aid the northwest Houston community during the COVID-19 pandemic in Harris County, after multiple record days for increases in cases, and are currently bracing for continued service.

CAM director of development Janet Ryan said the nonprofit for low-income families continues to follow social distancing guidelines and requires all employees to wear masks when they distribute food from their in-house food pantry.

“Even with a ‘work safe, stay home’ edict, families still need to eat and still need to pay their utility bills and rent, and we are here to help them with these basic needs while doing our best to keep them safe,” she said. “Since March 20 when we modified operations at the Food Pantry, just over 3 months ago, we have provided food to over 11,000 people who otherwise would not have had enough to eat.”

Although CAM recently reopened their resale shop Angel’s Attic — a source of income for their food pantry and other financial assistance programs — the scaling back of capacity by Governor Abbott could discourage shoppers from coming in to support CAM.

“CAM relies on proceeds from our resale store, Angels’ Attic, for well over half of our operating money,” Ryan said. “With more people staying home sales of course have dropped, so financial donations have become crucial in order for us to continue to operate. Please consider donating as you can to help CAM serve those who need it most in our area.”

Hope Haven, a nonprofit serving homeless individuals with financial aid, food, housing and career training, hosted a Virtual Success Event at 9 a.m. on June 26, discussing success with moving clients into housing and feeding others. Executive Director Kristyn Stillwell said the organization has been distributing freeze-dried food as well as bread and peanut butter to people who are homeless in the northwest Houston area.

“When COVID-19 hit and our homeless started losing their panhandling ability because restaurants shut down … there weren’t a lot of cars on the road so they had no way to get to food,” she said. “So we were able to go hand out this (freeze-dried) food to the people that were living in the woods and had the ability to boil water.”

Although Hope Haven is able to provide food and info to people who are homeless, the organization is in need of financial donations and other supplies such as socks and toiletries. Harris County Commissioner Jack Cagle donated bread and potato chips to Hope Haven and HEB donated peanut butter, jelly and bread.

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