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The Organization was founded in April 2008 to make disciples of Christ and to help assist clients with recovery from life controlling problems and addictions, including but not limited to re-entry programs for ex-offenders. We facilitate educational and seminary classes as well as other religious programs in the prison and in private settings, including crusades and other religious events in churches and overseas. We are a member of Independent Assemblies and working under their umbrella as a non-profit organization.
Between 2008 through 2012, our ministry was focused mainly on prison outreach. That included teaching in faith-based dorms, seminary classes and worship services. We conducted additional programs such as gospel crusades and “a Day with Mom or Dad” events.
Between 2013 and 2020, we have continued our work in the Texas prisons. We have hosted 5 to 7 worship services monthly in 5 different prisons in Texas. We have visited over 6,500 offenders each year providing them positive biblical teaching and offering special outreach events as mentioned above.
In August of 2012, we had our first overseas mission trip to Uganda, Africa. There we helped a local orphanage of 163 children and 15 staff members by filling up their food pantry, conducting Bible studies, visiting children, playing games, and providing hygiene items and gifts. Also in August of 2012, we held a citywide gospel crusade in the region of Pabbo with an attendance of 30,000 people. The gospel crusade took place over four days in the evenings and all-day Sunday. We spoke at seven churches in the rural areas and baptized 150 people in the river.
We continue to travel to Uganda, Africa annually and hold gospel crusades in various regions, with 30,000 to 70,000 people in attendance. We also conduct pastors’ and women’s conferences; bring food to underserved communities; and reach out to the widows on the islands and the churches in the area. Currently, we provide monthly support for this orphanage and make annual visits.
In October of 2012, we started a school of ministry for the public as well as a large resale store in Cleveland, Tx.
The school of ministry is still in operation today. Our two-year discipleship program has graduated 8 classes of students starting in 2014.
The resale store was set up as a donation center much like Goodwill where the community donated gently used items for resale providing goods for the less fortunate. Through the contact with the local community that the resale store connected us with, we were able to address the immediate needs surrounding the community and meet that need through the programs described below until the later part of 2017 when we restructured our ministry. It was in July 2017 when we decided to close our resale store and focus our programming on food distribution and community services.
The Food Pantry program was started in 2014. We served people from Liberty and surrounding counties. On average, the pantry served 240 to 300 families weekly. In 2018, we opened another food pantry in Huntsville, Tx. In Cleveland, Tx the food pantry transitioned into a distribution HUB with The Houston Food Bank (HUB.) We now are a HUB agency in four counties in Texas. --- Liberty, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker counties. As the HUB, we oversee, develop and mentor many other food pantries and non-profits within these counties. We currently serve well over 15,000 families a month through our site and the other pantries we mentor. We distribute over 3-4 million pounds of food yearly. We are also a disaster relief agency with The Houston Food Bank and participate with other agencies like Salvation Army, local churches, and non-profits for disaster relief projects.
We have expanded our Food Outreach programs through the founding of a new organization, Trinity River Food Bank. We are in tranisition to become the next PDO Food Bank for the Houston Food Bank.
The Indigent Healthcare Clinic programwas started in September 2015 to improve the quality of life, healthcare, and health education of the region. Patients were allowed an initial visit and then we would follow up by connecting them to a local provider to continue their care.
Services were free of charge. We saw 20-30 patients weekly. Many lives were saved. The clinic closed in 2017.
The Community Service Center programwas also started in 2015 and is currently still in operation. Here we assist clients to find services to meet their needs through case management as well as provide some direct benevolent services, program enrollment and referrals. We also administer a grant from Entergy to help senior adults with electric bill assistance. The Community Service Center program is still in operation as of 2021.
Educational Programs were started in 2017 and are currently still in operation as of 2021.
We collaborate with many other non-profits and community partners to provide services. We host free GED and ESL classes in collaboration with the Harris County Department of Education for our Cleveland campus that serves Liberty county and the Boys and Girls Club of Walker County that serves our Huntsville campus. In the 2017-2018 semester, we had the largest classes ever for the Liberty county area with over 120 students registered for the GED or ESL classes. We continue to have successful classes for these regions. GED and ESL Classes have been suspeneded until the fall semester 2021 due to Covid-19.
Vocational Programs We host job internship and mentoring vocational programs at our two pantry locations in Cleveland and Huntsville. Two programs are available at these locations. The first program began in mid-2018. We partner with the organization MET to employ and mentor the senior adult population ages 55 and up. This program pays the participant minimum wage while they work for 20 hours or less at one of our food pantries. This program is designed to help the older population get additional job training in preparation for a permanent job in the workforce. The program participants are called seekers and will learn administrative tasks, working with the public, inventory, food distribution, food handling and more.
The second vocational program we conduct is in partnership with the organization SER to employ and mentor at risk youth between the ages of 16-24 that are not currently enrolled in school, have not graduated high-school, and have low income households. The students get 10.00 per hour and serve as an intern at our food pantries learning various skills such as food distribution, inventory, engaging with the public, administrative duties and are employed for up to 300 hours. Upon completion of the program students are assisted with GED classes and testing, then job placement and may also be eligible for higher education programs.
A Nutrition program for chronic illness management started at our Huntsville campus where we teach workshops to 10-17 clients. These clients suffer from a chronic illness and need to learn better self-care and healthy habits. In our first class during the fall of 2019, every student experienced a healthy outcome such as weight loss, lowered A1C, and lowered blood pressure. We have these classes twice a year.
All of our Social Service programs will now be facilitated through the Trinity River Food Bank.
Awards - We have received three notable awards in 2019. First, we received the Governors’ Community service award for the State of Texas. This award was in recognition of our service in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison system and our community services for disaster relief, food outreaches and community service programs at our various sites in Texas. Second, we received the HUB of the year award at The Houston Food Bank for our outstanding service as an extension arm of the Houston Food Bank for the four counties we serve with them in Texas. Our third award is the Non-Profit of the Year award from the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce in Cleveland, Texas in recognition of our outstanding service to citizens in the city of Cleveland.
In Summary, Throughout the last 12 years we have worked in the Texas prison system with educational and religious programming including the special event outreach programs. We have participated in compassion services for the orphans with benevolence and religious programs overseas. We have provided free healthcare with the indigent healthcare clinic. We operate a school of ministry, food pantries and community service center. We will continue these missions and more by utilizing the existing programs and community partners we now have in place to see measurable outcomes and overall quality of life improved. We are currently reaching 25,000 – 40,000 people monthly with the help of our community partners such as the Houston Food Bank, MET, SER, Entergy Electric Company, Salvation Army, Children's' Hunger Fund, Harris County Department of Education and the Boys and Girls Club of Walker County and many churches and other non-profit organizations.
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