As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic rapidly evolves in the city of Houston, thousands of families have lost their jobs and wonder how they will be able to pay the rent and buy food over the coming weeks and months. Today, our staff is hard at work helping others from their home offices. Though we have modified our delivery method, MAM continues to provide critical services and is ready to support the many families who are being impacted by the COVID-19 situation.
To help families and individuals seeking assistance, MAM has developed the COVID-19 Response Program. It is intended to help a family build a strategic plan to get through this crisis, provide the financial assistance to meet shortfalls and offer support to accomplish their goals now and in the future.
Information and Referrals are the starting point for all families and individuals, providing guidance on the actions they should take now to address the crisis (contacting landlords, vehicle lienholders, unemployment offices, etc.) Many people have never faced this type of financial crisis and have no idea where to start. MAM staff will provide those calling for help with resources to address their immediate needs. Referrals will be also given to different agencies, including food banks, animal shelters and others.
Financial Assistance will be available for all qualified families to maintain their basic needs. Qualified families are those living in our 17 zip code service area and have lost income due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Stability Coaching is the pivotal, multifaceted program that will help those who have permanently lost their employment take action to build stability for their future. Employment Coaches will help them build new resumes and access skills to regain meaningful employment. Financial coaches will teach families how to build and manage a household budget, build credit and other skills to lead the family to financial self-sufficiency. Mental health counselors will be available to help families deal with stress and anxiety, which increases during times of uncertainty.
The goal is to keep each household safely housed and MAM will afford the resources, moral support and encouragement to achieve that goal. Once their immediate needs are addressed, we hope to get families on the path from barely surviving to financial stability to thriving.
MAM was formed nearly 40 years ago during a time of national crisis and has helped our community face and overcome natural and economic disasters, including hurricanes, floods, economic downturns and a myriad of other situations. We have become a trusted source in the community and the ‘place to go’ when individuals need help. It is times like this when our community rallies around our neighbors. The importance of our collective efforts is apparent today, more than ever.