History of Northwest Assistance Ministries

Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM) was formed by 10 Covenant Congregations that agreed to set aside theological differences and pool resources in a manner to better serve community needs. NAM has served north and northwest Harris County since 1983 and currently has approximately 85 employees and 2,500 volunteers.

NAM’s founding congregations include St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, Northwoods Presbyterian Church, John Wesley United Methodist Church, Kinsmen Lutheran Church, Hosanna Lutheran Church, Congregation Jewish Community North, Wildewood Baptist Church, Cypress Creek Christian Church, Klein United Methodist Church, and Plymouth United Church (U.C.C.).

Throughout the years, numerous additional congregations have joined with the original 10 to support NAM’s programs and services, along with several Service Partner organizations and business Community Partners that have committed to supporting NAM as well.

NAM’s first year budget was less than $50,000, which was targeted for rent and set-up costs. NAM has experienced tremendous growth through the years and its 2017-18 projected budget is over $10 million. In 2016-17, the organization touched the lives of more than 129,000 people through its programs and services.

In June of 2017, NAM celebrated the opening of The Harrell Family Opportunity Center, located on the second floor of the new building constructed on its property. The Harrell Family Opportunity Center, housing vocational training and workforce programs, serves as an extension of NAM’s Learning Center.

Occupying the space on the first floor of the building is NAM Resale, which celebrated the grand opening of the new location in November of 2017.

Construction of the new building was funded by NAM’s Roots & Wings capital campaign, launched in January of 2014.



4/28/83 Idea for NAM presented to Northwest Clergy Association.

6/13/83 Wildewood Baptist Church hosted a luncheon for clergy and lay persons at which time the benefits of a united effort to meet community needs was the main topic of discussion. Fifteen congregations expressed an interest with another 14 requesting more information. A steering committee was formed.

10/22/83 NAM's Articles of Incorporation were signed by the original 10 founding congregations: St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, Northwoods Presbyterian Church, John Wesley United Methodist Church, Kinsmen Lutheran Church, Hosanna Lutheran Church, Jewish Community North, Wildewood Baptist Church, Cypress Creek Christian Church, Klein United Methodist Church and Plymouth United Church of Christ.

11/15/83 NAM opened for business at 2464 FM 1960 W., with a small Assistance Office, Resale Shop and Pantry. During the shop's first six days in business, it grossed $1,750.96.

5/13/86 NAM's Board voted to help the Tomball Emergency Assistance Ministry (TEAM) get started by sending a care package of a bale of paper sacks, some cases of canned food and $1,000 from its cash reserve. NAM acquired its first computer.

6/8/87 Anais Watsky was hired to be NAM's director.

12/15/87 A Senior Citizens Task Force was formed ultimately leading to the founding of Sixty Plus of 1960 Senior Center.

10/3/88 Sixty Plus of 1960 opened at Northwoods Presbyterian Church.

11/89 NAM made an offer to purchase a shopping center, located at 4610 FM 1960 West for $850,000.

3/19/90 Discussions began with Harris County Health Department to use NAM as a site for a prenatal clinic and for immunizations.

10/13/90 Assistance Office, Jobs Program, Meal-on-Wheels, Second Chance Resale Shop and Joanne Watford Nutrition Center move to new facility.

11/26/90 Sixty Plus of 1960 moved to new facility.

2/91 Family Violence Center was started.

4/91 Community Garden started at Plymouth United Church of Christ.

6/92 The Willowbrook Rotary requested that NAM take their Learning Center under its umbrella.

8/92 The Interfaith Hospitality Network requested that NAM accept IHN as one of its ongoing programs.

11/93 The 10th anniversary was celebrated at John Wesley United Methodist Church and at Willowbrook Mall for the Neighbors of the Year Dinner.

4/94 The Children's Clinic receives a grant of $160,000 from The Methodist Hospital and opens the clinic with Sally Olsen, nurse practitioner and Pat Dolan, Director.

2/97 NAM bought the building at 15555 Kuykendahl to house programs and services.

3/98 NAM started Art for the Hungry to help feed children over the summer months, when school meals are no longer offered.

10/99 NAM hosted the first annual Jeans & Jewels...A Texas Size Party gala at Sam Houston Race Park.

7/99 NAM's Corner Resale Shop opened in NAM's main building.

3/01 Carole Little becomes NAM's executive director.

6/01 NAM opened its doors to people displaced by flooding due to Tropical Storm Allison.

3/02 The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation agreed to match up to $500,000 in donations received by the NAM Endowment Fund for maintenance and upkeep of NAM's facilities.

9/03 NAM celebrates its 20th anniversary.

7/04 Third resale shop opens in the Willowchase Shopping Center.

7/05 NAM adds two ZIP codes to its core service area east of Interstate 45.

9/05 NAM serves more than 8,000 evacuees from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

12/05 The Family Violence Center adds a counseling center.

3/06 The Rotary Learning Center adds a Workforce Development Program.

5/10 NAM honored by BBB with its Pinnacle Award of Excellence.

05/13 The Joanne Watford Nutrition Center, a choice food pantry, is dedicated.