Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries, Inc.
710 North Post Oak Road, Suite 210
Houston, Texas 77024
(713) 640-5192 Main Line
ACAM provides support and services to ministries
and does not provide financial assistance directly
to the general public. Please call 2-1-1 for basic needs and financial assistance.
ACAM's mission is to advance high-impact collaboration, service excellence and organizational development among community assistance ministries.
ACAM envisions a community supported by
a network of faith-based collaborative ministries
that provide opportunities for families and individuals
to meet and rise above their basic needs.
National Service “Make a Difference” AmeriCorps VISTA Shelby Thomas, Houston, Texas
This award recognizes the exemplary achievement of an AmeriCorps VISTA who is currently serving or has served the State of Texas.
Shelby Thomas served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries, Inc. (ACAM) in their Disaster Relief and Recovery Program. ACAM is a member of the Harris County Long Term Recovery Committee (HCLTRC), the Texas Gulf Coast VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and was a partner in the former Greater Houston Storm Recovery Network (GHSRN). These collaboratives represent over 40 different nonprofit and government organizations.
Houston was impacted by four major storms from 2015 to 2016, and Shelby’s work as a VISTA was invaluable to recovery efforts. One of the greatest challenges in times of disaster is communication across the many voluntary organizations involved in response and recovery. Shelby implemented systems and processes with ACAM leadership to address this challenge. Not only were the efforts a success, but ACAM’s systems are being replicated by associated ministries. Shelby updated ACAM’s Disaster Recovery Plan, she documented processes, implemented tracking methods, forms and tools developed by ACAM for data gathering and reporting, and collected post-grant data that ACAM utilized to report on the overall impact of disaster relief efforts.
Shelby’s service as a VISTA has had a significant and lasting impact and she brought fresh ideas, joy and enthusiasm for the work that needed to be done.Thanks to Shelby’s outreach to the 17 organizations that received grants through ACAM for disaster relief and recovery, ACAM was able to identify over $1 million in in-kind donations to the overall project. Shelby worked closely with the Texas Gulf Coast VOAD to update the VOAD website and its roster of members, which is critical to maintaining the communication network. Shelby also updated ACAM’s GuideStar profile by entering in various metrics that ACAM tracks, as well as ACAM’s financial and planning information. ACAM is now one of only 12 Houston-based human services organizations (in a region with 1,145 such organizations) with a Platinum GuideStar Seal.