Atascocita BizCom spotlights HAAM, Family Time, Family Promise
“Assisting the Atascocita community” was the phrase of the day during the Lake Houston Chamber’s Atascocita BizCom held Nov. 7 at Atascocita High School.
The executive directors of three area not-for-profit agencies discussed their missions, their needs and how residents and businesses can help during the holidays.
The agency executives were Jessica Penney of Family Promise of Lake Houston, Judy Cox of Family Time Crisis and Counseling Center, and Millie Garrison of Humble Area Assistance Ministries (HAAM).
Family Promise provides transition living programs and services to homeless families to assist them in becoming self-sustaining. Currently helping 25 families, Penney said her agency is looking for families to adopt her families during the holiday season.
FamilyTime assists individuals and families in crisis by providing free counseling and shelter. Cox emphasized that her agency accepts clients from everywhere and will set up a “shop” for clients to go “shopping” for their children for Christmas.
HAAM offers essential resources – food, rent and utilities payment, employment services – to community residents in crisis with the goal of moving them to self-sufficiency. Garrison described the Empty Stocking Toy Drive and food distribution that HAAM gives to families in need each year.
Each of the agencies accepts toys, gift cards and cash. “We especially like cash because we can then purchase what we need, usually at a discount,” said Garrison.
The agency directors also said one of the best contributions residents can make is themselves.
“We always need extra hands to help prepare the toys, the meals, all the activities that we plan for this time of year,” Garrison said.
BizCom attendees then viewed a short video illustrating three young special education adults who have transitioned from school to meaningful positions in the community. The school district’s Transition Program is looking for community partners to train and employee the students, said Transition Coordinator Geralyn Sullivan. She announced that Mosaic students have opened a Spirit Store made up of items they’ve created. It is located on the first floor of the administration building.
Atascocita’s new $5.7 million park, featuring a playground, dog park, boardwalk, walking trails and scenic pond, will open in late March 2020, according to Marco Monte, design and construction manager for Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia.
Already open is the first phase of a 1.7-mile hike and bike trail which follows the Harris County Flood District channel from Will Clayton to West Lake Houston. A second, more complicated hike and bike trail is underway and will include a pedestrian bridge over Will Clayton and an underpass at FM 1960.
Businesses or homeowners impacted by Tropical Storm Imelda should apply for disaster assistance loans, said Corey Williams, public information officer for the SBA. The deadline is Dec. 3. Businesses can also qualify for economic injury assistance to help them meet payroll and operating expenses. That deadline is July 2020. Apply online at sba.gov; click on Funding Programs and look for “disaster assistance.”
The next Atascocita BizCom is March 12, 2020 at Atascocita High School. Kingwood BizCom is set for Dec. 5 at Kingwood Park High School, and the Summer Creek BizCom is scheduled for Dec.12 at Summer Creek High School. There is no cost for the BizComs, but registration is required. To register, visit lakehouston.org.