Nonprofits in The Woodlands, Montgomery County saw demand increases of up to 250% during pandemic year

The Woodlands Township board of directors held an in-person meeting March 24. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Woodlands Township board of directors held an in-person meeting March 24. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Woodlands Township board of directors held an in-person meeting March 24. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)

Nonprofit groups in The Woodlands, particularly those pertaining to mental health and economic difficulty, aw a surge in demand for services in 2020, said Ann Snyder, board member of The Woodlands Township board of directors, during a March 24 presentation to the board.

Needs for service ranged from higher demand at the Interfaith of The Woodlands food pantry to increased crisis calls at Montgomery County Women's Center. The Community Assistance Center, which provides resources for basic needs, observed a 250% increase in demand, with 39,347 people seeking services in 2020 as compared to 11,218 in 2019, according to information shared at the meeting.

Snyder said a survey of 58 Montgomery County-based counselors conducted by regional mental health nonprofit Mosaics of Mercy revealed that in 2020, 85% of the counselors saw an increase in their caseloads and 69% saw an increase in suicidal ideation among patients in their practices.

The conditions that saw the largest increases in prevalence were anxiety, depression, family conflict and substance abuse, she said.

Among young people, the county's youth services program Yes to Youth saw a 47% increase in mental health counseling services provided in 2020 as compared to 2019, according to the presentation.


Interfaith of The Woodlands, which operates a food pantry and offers crisis program services, saw a 43% increase in services provided in 2020 as compared to 2019, serving 42,114 as compared to 29,447 the previous year. The nonprofit also provided rent or mortgage assistance to 1,548 households in 2020, Snyder said during her presentation.

Montgomery County Women's Shelter responded to 31% more domestic violence hotline calls in 2020 than in 2019. That increase peaked between March and July, when it was up by 45%, according to center data presented at the meeting.

In other business, Willie Fowlkers, race director of The Woodlands Marathon, reported to directors that the March 6 event raised $140,000 for area charitable organizations, bringing the event's 10-year total to more than $1.25 million.
By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.