November, the official observance of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month has come and gone, but the work continues to help those men, women, children, families and veterans every day of every year, who are living in crisis. HomeAid Houston, a 501 c 3 charity of the Greater Houston Builders Association, continues their mission to serve the homeless within the community by working with homeless care agencies to build and remodel shelters that will provide a place to begin rebuilding lives.
To assist those who have been recently housed who have nothing, HomeAid has initiated their "Essentials Baskets", an ongoing partnership with the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County's - The Way Home program. The baskets are typically filled with donations of food, home items, hygiene products and gift cards for those who have been living on the streets.
Through this outreach initiative, HomeAid is also responding to the needs of the thousands of Houstonians who were affected by the flooding from Hurricane Harvey who lost everything. "There are so many experiencing the fear of homelessness right now," said Bette Moser, executive director of HomeAid Houston. "We are into December, and the work still continues, and will for as long as it takes to provide the essentials for those facing both hunger and homelessness. HomeAid is adapting our "Essentials Baskets" to help as many as possible."
To this end, HomeAid coordinated an "Essentials Baskets" drive at their recent HALO Luncheon. Guests brought new "home goods" items such as bedding, towels, shower curtains and kitchen utensils as well as hygiene and cleaning products to get folks back on their feet.
Items from the drive were distributed to Harmony House, who lost office space because of the hurricane, including their supplies stored for clients moving into their homes, and The Women’s Home. Gift cards were also donated and will be used to purchase mops and brooms for newly housed individuals and families, as well as being given to families for holiday wish lists items.
Items can be collected for the baskets by individuals or organizations. HomeAid will help organize the items and identify the agencies that can ensure they are delivered to the appropriate people.
"Houston has always shown through rough times, that we are a community of generous hearts," added Moser. "We are confident the "Essentials Baskets" drive will inspire others to reach out and help those who face uncertain times during the Season of Giving."
HomeAid Houston started in 2003 and dedicated their first shelter in 2005. Since then, 46 projects have been completed, adding over 437 beds and 12.6 million dollars in real estate construction and improvements to Houston’s homeless community. Annually, HomeAid's projects serve over 5000 homeless men, women, children and veterans in Houston.