Sandra Morales is a cheerleader for San Antonio’s West Side community, something many families on the Westside need as the country continues to recover.
“There are just so many who are struggling right now, medically, financially,” Morales said. “So many parents with kids in our after school program have lost their jobs, sometimes both parents, sometimes just one.”
Morales serves as executive director of the House of Neighborly Service (HNS), a nonprofit that has served West Side families since 1917. The organization offers a range of programs, including preparing young children for school, addressing food insecurity, and supporting families holistically.
“I reside in the same zip code that I serve,” said Morales. “It is a vibrant community… and we really enjoy the people we work with. They are our neighbors.”
Last spring, individual donors and foundations stepped up with additional support as the pandemic began to take hold. It is easy to forget how many people in San Antonio were facing difficulties before the past year, difficulties which just compounded during crisis.
Morales says HNS is helping parents find jobs. They are helping seniors experience human connection while being isolated. The day-to-day tribulations for people living in San Antonio has continued as cases continue to surge amid the slow rollout of a vaccine. Morales hopes the support will continue as well.
The need is real, and Morales is stubbornly hopeful. She wants everyone to know about the resilience she sees in the people who come to HNS. “Even in hard times they are still so loving and caring and grateful,” she said. “They are not looking for assistance to live on for the rest of their lives, but sometimes they just need some help to get through a hard time.”
HNS, which was founded by Presbyterian missionaries, is located on North Calaveras in two buildings adjacent to Divine Redeemer Presbyterian church, and families for several blocks around HNS face day-to-day needs.
“My wish,” said Morales, “is that funders—whether it’s individuals, foundations—that they continue to see that [we serve] people who are in need and who will continue to be in need of resources, especially now.”