Emergency ServicesHCCM's outreach is based on the belief that loving our neighbors must go beyond concern, to action. Although most of our clients are working poor, whose financial situations are generally tenuous, emergencies can strike anyone. Injury, illness, job loss, fire, flooding or loss of a spouse because of abandonment, abuse or death can arrive on anyone's doorstep with devastating impact.
By the time an individual or family comes for help, they've usually exhausted their resources and are not only hungry, but also discouraged and fearful. Aid and comfort are the standing order of business for Emergency Services.
MANASome of our neighbors find themselves in situations with very little real prospect of improvement and often every reasonable expectation for further decline. Job training and budget counseling are not a sensible prescription for age, disability or chronic illness. Some of our neighbors simply need help to make it on an ongoing basis. For them, we have MANA.
The MANA program provides regular subsistence assistance to clients who's inability to sustain themselves has been damaged beyond any reasonable prospect of repair. Food, some prescription assistance, clothing and other forms of aid we can render are given tenderly to our neighbors who have few other places to turn for help.
Hill Country Community Ministries (HCCM) serves a 300 square-mile area in Williamson County and far Northwest Travis County. This includes the communities of Cedar Park, Leander, Liberty Hill, Lago Vista, Jonestown, and areas of northwest Austin. ZIP codes included are 78613, 78641, 78642, 78645, 78717, 78726, 78729, 78732, 78750, and 78759.
While the trappings of affluence in our area are obvious, those with open eyes and open hearts can easily find among our neighbors many families and individuals whose incomes don't cover food, rent, transportation and medicine. Some of these are unemployable because of age, disability, or chronic illness. Some are unemployed due to short term issues like layoffs, illness or injury. Some are simply under-employed…the working poor whose capabilities, despite hard work, do not produce a living wage.
The needs of all these neighbors exist year round, but become especially acute when weather extremes drive up utilities, or school breaks limit access to free and reduced cost breakfast and lunch programs in our schools. But the reasons our neighbors come to our doors are as individual as they are. Even those ordinarily able to manage on their own occasionally find themselves overcome by life transitions such as job loss, injury, family death, fire, divorce, spousal abandonment and even escape from abuse.
HCCM brings a variety of resources to bear on these problems. The most important resources we offer are the hearts and minds of our caseworkers who meet our clients face to face, hear their needs and then prescribe a program of assistance best fitting the needs of the client and his or her family. All who seek help are welcomed and heard, without regard to age, lifestyle, ethnicity, faith practice or gender.
HCCM coordinates with other service agencies to guard against overlap of services and to make referrals. HCCM is able to offer some assistance directly to our clients. We operate a Food Pantry that stocks food and essential personal and infant care items as well as a Clothes Closet that offers serviceable used clothing at no cost. Both are located at our main facility on Lacy Drive in Leander.
Our Food Pantry is stocked with donations from churches and other organizations and with food from the Capital Area Food Bank for which we only pay a small handling charge.
HCCM even offers seasonal assistance to low income families that may include:
- fans and heaters
- Thanksgiving food boxes
- school shoes