Northwest Assistance Ministries sees thousands of clients every month. The statistics show that NAM makes a difference by delivering meals to homebound seniors, facilitating rent assistance for those hit hard by the pandemic and the economic hardship that followed, providing food to dozens of families everyday through the Joanne Watford Nutrition Center, providing counseling and aid to families torn apart by domestic violence, helping adults acquire marketable skills so that they may secure a career with a livable wage that breaks the cycle of poverty and providing health and behavioral health care to children and their families.
It is easy to get lost in the number of families or clients we serve. While these total numbers are important, once in a while we need to hear about one family and how NAM makes a difference in their life. A story that illustrates how our departments work together to serve the client, where they are, on their terms.
In mid-September a woman in her thirties came to NAM seeking assistance. She needed a place to live and financial assistance to keep from being homeless. One of NAM’s intake caseworkers met with the young mother to start the process to determine what kind of assistance she qualified for. During their conversation, the caseworker learned that the client had six children including two boys over 12 and that she left her home because of severe domestic abuse.
The caseworker quickly brought in a counselor from NAM’s Family Violence Center to better serve the situation. It was determined that due to the ages of the two older boys, that this family would not qualify for a Family Violence Shelter. Funds were made available to put the family in a hotel for seven days while the two caseworkers collaborated on more permanent housing for the family. The children are able to receive medical care from the Pediatric Health Center and NAM’s Behavioral Health Department was and will be included in future counseling sessions with the entire family. Food from the Joanne Watford Nutrition Center was given to the family to help get them settled in. Vouchers are being issued for clothing, houseware and furniture for the family through NAM Resale.
It was discovered that the mother had a job but it only paid $7.25 an hour. Efforts are being undertaken through NAM’s Learning and Vocational Training Center to connect the mother with potential employers that will pay enough so that we can help her move into an apartment for her family. The follow up path includes career training that will assist her to a point of self-sufficiency and continued counseling for the mother and all of the children. More food and financial assistance will certainly be needed and the family was registered for NAM’s Holiday Season of Blessings so that they will receive full holiday meals and gifts for all of the children.
As you consider donating to NAM, please remember that 85-90 cents of every dollar donated to NAM goes into the programs listed above. As you can see, NAM clients get quite a return from those investments. Thank you for supporting NAM so that we can make a difference in the lives of families like this one.