Support from Bear Creek Assistance Ministries programs.
Operating everything from a thrift store to coordinating emergency, one time financial support, Bear Creek Assistance Ministries is one of the local charities that may be able to provide support in some cases. The organization is small and has limited resources, but they are an option for the working poor.
The money raised from the sale of goods at the thrift store is recycled back into the community to provide financial support. If any funds are paid out, the client will also need to pay a portion of the bill as well. The Bear Creek Ministry offers the low income and hand up and not a hand out.
Find resources for financial help
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program from Bear Creek Assistance Ministries provides one month’s rent or mortgage payment for Harris County residents who are unable to pay for their housing as a result of a sudden, unexpected reduction in income. Other use of these government grants can be to cover people facing an unplanned emergency expense. There are eligibility restrictions in regard to income as well as self-sufficiency, but the applicant must be the party who is legally responsible for making the payment. Others uses of EFSP, as resources allow, includes the following.
- Utilities, including cooling or water bills to keep the electricity on.
- Shelter can be arranged at certain Houston Texas sites.
- Non-monetary aid, ranging from tenant/landlord mediation to referrals.
- Some limited mortgage payments can be made.
This service relies on federal government grants. There is an allotment each year, and the Ministry will only help those that qualify, first come-served.
During a typical week, Bear Creek Assistance Ministries Family Food Pantry helps combat hunger by providing a number of families with pounds of food, fresh fruits, vegetables and personal care items. The amount provided is per person.
The new Client Choice Hybrid model for distribution offers clients the opportunity to select food items that suit their families’ needs. This form of assistance is available across Houston to each client once each month, or every two weeks for those awaiting food stamp notification. In partnership with the regional Food Bank of Harris County Texas, Bear Creek Assistance Ministries also conducts on-site Food Stamps interviews every week.
Bear Creek Assistance Ministries thrift store is open to the general public. This location sells gently used items that are donated by the public. Some of what may be provided is below.
- Household goods, such as beds, cribs, and kitchen appliances.
- Clothing, including school supplies or shoes for students.
- General use items are sold at the store, such as low price cleaning supplies.
- The volunteers at Bear Creek Assistance Ministries can also direct clients to other sources for low priced items.
Long term self-sufficiency
The goal of Ministries Financial Empowerment Class is to take action to break down financial barriers faced by women as single parents. There is also support for others across Houston. It will enable clients to stabilize their households and gain positive life skills.
Through a partnership with local credit counselors and lenders, the Financial Empowerment Class provides valuable information for heads of household. Workshops cover topics such as how to find creative ways to cut expenses, how banks work, managing money and tips to create a budget. There is also advice on how to restore or establish good credit. Program attendees are given take-home materials to help them continue learning and apply the information to real-life situations.
The Bear Creek Assistance Ministries can refer families to either Early Head Start (EHS), Head Start (HS), and also State of Texas Funded Preschool programs. These are all available throughout Harris County. Both of these, Early Head Start and Head Start, are federally funded programs that promote school readiness and optimal development for young children from low-income families.
- EHS serves children from birth to age three. There is also support for pregnant women, the disabled, and their families.
- Head Start (HS) is a comprehensive preschool program for children aged three to five.
These government programs are child-focused, while also emphasizing the importance of parental involvement in all activities. Bear Creek will also help parents access employment and development opportunities.
They offer a range of individualized services in areas that include education; medical, dental, and mental health care, food, and other social services. Resources are available across the city of Houston for children with disabilities. In fact, up to ten percent of total enrollment opportunities made available to children with special needs without regard to family income.
The services above are just a sampling of what can be arranged. Bear Creek Assistance Ministries is based at 625 Blalock Rd, Houston, Texas 77080, and this is also where the thrift store is. Call (713) 468-4516.