Katy Christian Ministries celebrated 35 years in operation with a gala held at Gallery Furniture’s Richmond location Jan. 22. The event comes at the beginning of what the agency calls a banner year that includes 20 years of the organization’s golf tournament and 15 years of its annual fall gala, Executive Director Deysi Crespo said.
“What a wonderful way to bring all of these together as a theme that celebrates all of Katy Christian Ministries,” Crespo said.
Nine churches formed the nonprofit in June 1984 to assist families in crisis in the Katy area, Crespo said. The nonprofit now offers a food bank, crisis counseling and financial assistance. Katy Christian Ministries’ work is funded through its resale store, grants, fundraisers and community donations, Crespo said.
Katy Christian Ministries helped 8,648 households in 2018, Crespo said. She estimates more than 26,000 people were assisted by the nonprofit last year.
The agency saw a spike in demand during 2018 compared to previous years, Crespo said. Katy Christian Ministries provided about $115,000 in general financial assistance during 2017. That number spiked to about $240,000 during 2018, according to a report provided by the nonprofit. The same report showed an increase from about $310,000 in 2017 in financial assistance for disaster relief to about $913,000 the following year.
The hope is the spike was a direct result of Harvey, Crespo said. The agency will be keeping an eye out for a trend, said Robert Crutchfield, a member of Katy Christian Ministries board of directors.
Katy Christian Ministries is improving and expanding its services, Crespo said. The food pantry is launching a program called Food for Change to help clients with special dietary needs, such as diabetics. Food for Change will examine food prescriptions from health care providers and issue foods that help clients better manage their health, she said.
A new crisis mitigation program called the Family Independence Resilience through Self-sufficiency Tools Model—or FIRST—will help clients examine the root causes of their crises, Crespo said. The program will then help clients implement strategies to maintain stability once they are no longer in crisis, such as strategies for keeping jobs, managing bills or maintaining better health.
A second resale shop at 23232 Kingsland Blvd. in Katy will open in late April or early May, Crespo said. The store’s profits will provide funding to serve clients, she said.
Volunteers and community partners allow these programs to move forward, Crespo said. She added Katy Christian Ministries is always looking for volunteers.
“I don’t know what else is to come, but we’re constantly trying to evaluate and improve our programs,” Crespo said.