Dispatch from the frontline (its crazy)

Over the course of this week the number of folks we have helped and have sought help at West Houston Assistance Ministries, where I am CEO, has dramatically increased.  

The graph is the call volume at West Houston Assistance Ministries (WHAM) for those folks seeking financial assistance.  The figures on the y axis are the number of calls, the x axis, the dates.  As you can see, our call rate has exploded, resulting in us having to quickly change the way we handle requests. 

This is unprecedented for WHAM, never before have we seen such a huge need in our community.  As well as financial assistance, we have seen a 218% jump in the number of folks coming to us for food.  These past two weeks we provided food for 7,725 folks, plus a further 449 First Responders and their families.  The largest and busiest day was Tuesday, where we provided food for 1,246 people, easily a record for WHAM.  

I anticipate demand for our services will continue to grow for the next month and beyond.

In response to the worsening infection rate, I have decided to split the team into two crews to disperse the food.  One crew will work Monday – Wednesday, the second crew will work Thursday – Saturday.  The idea is, if someone falls sick, there is still a crew to step up and keep WHAM operating. It is absolutely imperative that we keep WHAM open and operating, there are just too many people who require our services right now.  This approach also gives my team plenty of downtime, which is needed  given the long intense hours they are putting in.

I am incredibly appreciative of the food, water and supplies that come from the Houston Food Bank. Which is why I was very happy to be one of just a handful of agencies who will host a refrigerated truck packed with extra food to disperse.  

Fundraising

I am so pleased to be invited today to apply for the Greater Houston COVID-19 Fund, Round 1. Grants will be $5K to $75K and is targeted to basic needs (food) and financial assistance. Exactly what we require right now. 

If you have any questions or require help, please do call my cell, 832 341 2440 or email me at mark.brown@whamministries.org 

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