During the covid-19 pandemic we had to temporarily discontinue all programs that involved the gathering of large groups of people. While we could not minister to the spiritual needs of the community directly during this time we immediately became focused on providing food and supplies to thousands of Houstonians. In March 2020 our centers were converted to emergency food distribution sites. Partnering with the Houston Food Bank, Second Servings of Houston, and numerous churches, companies and organizations we became a bastion of hope in our communities. In November 2020 we began resuming our programs while observing strict CDC and local guidelines to insure the safety of children, youth and senior adults.
To minister to the needs of those who were homebound – both senior adults as well as families who were in lock-down mode – we made routine deliveries of food to their residences. In addition, with the help of several mission partners, we delivered gifts of toys and fresh fruit baskets to hundreds of people involved in our programs. It was a great opportunity to demonstrate God’s love and our commitment to them in such difficult times.
Hurricane Harvey Recovery
In August 2017 Houston was hit with a ‘once in 500 years’ hurricane, dumping over 40 inches of rain across the Greater Houston region in less than four days across. All Mission Centers properties were spared from flooding so we sprang into action, offering assistance through emergency food distribution, housing for volunteer teams, coordination of ‘mudding out’ and reconstruction efforts.
In September of 2017 we began rebuilding efforts in a predominately senior adult community in East Houston. This eventually led Mission Centers of Houston to form a new division in early 2018 called Northeast Houston Restoration. This area of Houston was not being served by other agencies so we staffed up to offer help to the thousands who were affected by Harvey. Over the course of 18 months we held a dozen community resource fairs at churches throughout the area and offered services through numerous partner organizations to over 50,000 people. At the end of 2019 the division was disbanded. The experience we gained will set us up to be ready to respond and staff up the next time a major disaster like Harvey strikes Houston.