Humble Area Assistance Ministries (HAAM) opened its doors on Thursday, Aug. 31 to help regular clients as well as those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Millie Garrison, executive director, said the charity has seen a steady number of people come in seeking assistance, and that lines had begun to form by noon. They will also host a hot food lunch to meet the needs of the community.

“We have people that are just trying to get home, and we have the processes and resources to help them do so. Several of these people had been evacuated and were in shelters such as the Humble Civic Center which is now closing,” she said.

Garrison noted that many of those seeking assistance had been evacuated from the south of Houston, as well as people who were traveling through the area at the time of the hurricane and were trapped here by floodwaters.

Several volunteers are currently on hand, helping to sort donations and assist clients. Garrison stressed that while they have plenty of volunteers now, they will continue to need them as the recovery from Hurricane Harvey will take some time.

“This is a long-term process of six to eight months down the road, so we will need to pace it out. We want to be able to keep up with people’s needs,” she said.

“People have been so generous during this event. We currently have plenty of clothing and bedding,” Garrison said. “Our main focus is on getting non-perishable food donations and monetary donations. A lot of people have lost their vehicles and will need money to ride the bus. They will also need help to clean up their homes, and that costs money as well. We are also seeking gas cards, baby supplies and water.”   

Humble ISD and Texas Patriots are among those who gathered donations for the clients of HAAM. The school district provided a busload of clothing and bedding. The Texas Patriots brought in truckloads from around the United States of clothing, food, water and toys, some of which has been donated to HAAM as well as other organizations in need.

The charity has plenty of resources at this point, and is helping people file claims with FEMA. Garrison said the forms are filled out online and it is a very easy process.

Cherrie Ledoux, a member of the board of directors, is also organizing a pop-up, hot food kitchen in the HAAM parking lot for evacuees, first responders, clients and volunteers. It will be held from noon to 3 p.m. every day, starting Sept. 1, for the time being. She owns her own catering service, A Grand Affair, and has spent the last six days providing up to 150 first responders three meals a day at Houston Fire Department’s Station 102 in Kingwood.  

Since mail service has been suspended for the time being, monetary donations should be made online or at the office. For now, HAAM will maintain its normal business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but may extend them if necessary. The charity is located at 1302 First Street in Humble. The phone number is 281-446-3663 and the website is haamministries.org.

Sarah Mertins
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I grew up on a farm in New Mexico and miss eating hot chile and having four seasons. I didn't start college until I was already a mother and double majored in English and anthropology. I received an Honors B.A. from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and was named “Outstanding Student” in English. My honors thesis is titled “The Enduring and Ever-Changing Legend of La Llorona.” I worked as a police reporter for a bit before staying home in Kingwood to raise my two daughters. My hobbies include reading, gardening, cooking and traveling.