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Lifting Up Cy-Fair Families in Need

Giving Hope to the Homeless and Hungry

As we enter into the season of giving and preparing amidst the busyness that can come this time of year, we know there are always families in our community who need a little nudge to help them get back on their feet and to offer them hope.

Cy-Fair Helping Hands hosted an “Understanding Homelessness in Cy-Fair” luncheon this fall. In attendance were Church leaders from throughout northwest Harris County. Gathering at the Cy-Fair Helping Hands (CFHH) food pantry and outreach center to learn new and often unexpected information about the homeless population in the Cy-Fair area. "Often we think of the homeless as an elderly man on the street corner" stated Randi Lewis, CFHH's Director of Homeless Outreach, "when in fact the elderly make up less than 10% of homeless people in our community." In the Cy-Fair area, the largest percentage of people with no place of their own are families with children.

"In CFISD, 1 out of 100 children are registered homeless" stated Lewis. "This just didn't seem possible, so we double-checked with the district and double-checked the math, and with 1,460 students registered as homeless, this is literally just over 1 in every 100 students who are living in cars, in camps, or are doubled up in someone else's home." This number does not include children whose parents do not register them as homeless, due to embarrassment or fear of the state stepping in.

"Across the US, the typical family is now two paychecks away from being homeless", stated Janet Ryan, Cy-Fair Helping Hand's Executive Director. "When you consider the circumstances that can be contributing factors, sometimes they are simply life events that can happen to any of us, such as a divorce, or a protracted illness, or an unexpected job loss" shared Ryan."This leaves so many families vulnerable, with little to no knowledge of resources available. At CFHH each and every week we hear from more families in our area who have nowhere to live so are often living in their cars, and who want to change their situation but just don't know how. That's when we step in, helping with what we can and then sharing other resources with the families to help them get back on their feet."

Cy-Fair Helping Hands, (CFHH), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded in 2010 to help the homeless of Cy-Fair become self-sufficient. CFHH, which is run exclusively by volunteers, is helping those in need in the Cy-Fair area in several ways.

Community Food Pantry: providing fresh and non-perishable foods, toiletries, household supplies, essential items, and even free health checks for individuals and families struggling to provide for themselves. The most needed donations for the food pantry are peanut butter, jelly, tuna, canned vegetables, and canned fruit.

Community Garden: The community garden greatly helps with supplementing the non-perishable foods, by offering healthy, fresh produce to food pantry clients, distributed through the CFHH Food Pantry. 

Blessing Boxes: Thanksgiving Blessing Boxes come with everything to prepare a Thanksgiving meal plus a gift card to get a ham or turkey to registered families.

Scholarship Program: CFHH also offers a scholarship program through Lone Star College for students in the workforce or certificate programs. It is geared toward students who need enough education to allow them to secure employment in a time-sensitive manner. They are financial-need-based, with a required GPA of 2.0. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need with funds to be used for Tuition, Fees, and Books. Also, students are encouraged to apply in subsequent semesters. 

During the holidays CFHH holds several events helping their homeless guests:

  • Christmas Party: On December 10th, a Christmas party for their clients, both children, and adults, including homeless families CFHH is sheltering in addition to families who are housed but are struggling financially during the holidays. It’s a lot of fun, with food, Santa, gifts, and more. 

  • Blessing Tree: The chronically homeless individuals they serve are currently filling out their wish lists, and are invited to choose an ornament from the Blessings Tree that lists one of these wishes. In addition, wishes will be listed online. 

  • Cards of Hope: A Christmas program through CFISD where every registered homeless student in middle school and high school will be provided with a $50 gift card. This may be the only gift these children receive. 

CFHH relies on the generosity of the community to allow them to serve not only the homeless but also the hungry. You can help by donating financially, or by donating food, toys, and school supplies, and volunteering. Contact for more information.