PHOTOS: Cypress Assistance Ministries breaks ground on new facility

Cypress Assistance Ministries breaks ground on a new facility on Cypress N. Houston Road.

Cypress Assistance Ministries breaks ground on a new facility on Cypress N. Houston Road.

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Officials with Cypress Assistance Ministries broke ground Wednesday morning on a new facility located on Cypress N. Houston Road, west of the North Eldridge Parkway intersection in Cypress. As the local nonprofit continues to grow, officials said the new building will make serving the community more accessible and convenient.

“The reason this building is so important is because we believe it’s going to help transform the community to allow people to access our services more efficiently, more effectively and to not have to walk across Huffmeister [Road] in heavy traffic just to get food from us,” Executive Director Martha Burnes said.

In the first half of 2018, CAM distributed 112 tons of food to individuals and families in need. The client services department has grown 34 percent in the last year, and Burnes said the organization plans to continue growing to meet local needs.

For the first time in 15 years, all services—including Client Assistance offices, the food pantry, GED and ESL classes, Operation Jobs programming, the Angels’ Attic Resale Store, a donation center and the administrative offices—will be housed in the same 27,000-square-foot facility.

A new pallet garden will provide fresh foods for CAM’s food pantry as well as an opportunity for families to volunteer with their children. The new space will also allow for the GED program, which often has a waitlist, to expand.

Jim Rambousek, president of CAM’s board of directors, said the organization has been working toward this groundbreaking event since April 2015, when officials were first notified that the owners of their existing facility at 11202 Huffmeister Road, Houston, wanted to sell the building.

However, purchasing the building was not financially feasible, and CAM’s services were beginning to outgrow the space. Ultimately, the board ended up choosing to build on the nearly 4-acre Cypress N. Houston Road property, which gave them plenty of room to grow in the future.

Robert Scherer of SCS Construction Management will oversee the construction project, which is slated to be near completion by the end of the year. Director of Development Janet Ryan said the organization’s current lease ends in March 2019, and the staff hopes to move in early next year.

CAM officials are continuing to raise money for the construction of the building through a capital campaign with the goal of raising $3.5 million. The group secured a loan to help fund construction and permitting costs in the last year.

For more information about CAM and to contribute to the organization’s capital campaign, visit www.cypressassistance.org.
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