Clients can shop at the center’s food pantry to purchase affordable groceries. Clients can shop at the center’s food pantry to purchase affordable groceries.[/caption]

The lobby at Missouri City’s Second Mile Mission Center fills each day with individuals who are in search of affordable health care, food and a bed.

For 20 years, the faith-based nonprofit organization has partnered with local and regional nonprofits to provide medical services, groceries, job training and financial education for Fort Bend County residents in need.

Second Mile Communications Director Sheena Abraham said the nonprofit counsels individuals to help them work through their biggest challenges. She said each counselor builds a relationship with their clients and provides resources to help them become self-sustainable over time.

“We know that they are facing really complex challenges, and the solution is not a one-size-fits-all,” she said.

As a part of its mission to provide long-term solutions for clients, Second Mile offers free health care for uninsured residents who live 150 percent below the poverty line at its Pat McWaters Health Clinic.

Abraham said the health center was conceived by a group of doctors and dentists who volunteered their services to residents who could not afford health care services. She said the program has expanded over the last five years by offering treatments for ailments, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

“We continue to help people without resources by offering them medical and dental care, and we even help women get mammograms,” she said.

Second Mile also partners with the Houston Food Bank and local grocery stores to provide more than 15,000 pounds of fresh and frozen food per year from its food pantry. Similar concept to a grocery store, the food pantry allows residents in need to choose foods they prefer as opposed to picking up prepackaged grocery bags.

“It’s important to give them an option because it reduces food waste,” she said.

In addition, the nonprofit opened the Opportunity Shop in June to sell secondhand clothing to clients applying for new jobs. Abraham said the retail store also helps clients prepare for jobs by allowing clients to garner experience in a work environment. She said many clients work at the Opportunity Shop to develop various work skills and to expand their resume.

“We opened the Opportunity Shop because when we asked people what their greatest challenges were, jobs and job training were at the top,” Abraham said. “Our dream is to open more social enterprises based on the opportunities in the community.”

Second Mile Mission Center

1135 Hwy. 90, Missouri City
Hours: Mon., Wed., Fri. 9 a.m.-
5 p.m., Tue., Thu. 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-noon

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