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Nancy Mendez, Director of Project Hope Project Hope is an empowerment-based program of case management for needs beyond food and clothing.

As Mendez transitions from case manager to director, her focus will include developing more community resources as well as providing additional support to neighbors within The Academy and job partnerships

Nancy Mendez has been named the new director of Project Hope, a program of The Storehouse of Collin County which specializes in neighbor care. Mendez first came to The Storehouse in May of 2021 as the Project Hope coordinator to assist with assessing the needs of the neighbors, establishing relationships with them, and helping determine future program goals. She immediately began her training to be certified as a community health worker and became case manager for Project Hope in 2023.

“I fell in love with the mission of the Storehouse,” said Nancy Mendez. “Being a part of the transformation and change for the neighbors – what we call those we serve – and seeing their improvement, reinforced within my heart that this is all for a purpose and exactly where I want to use my gifts and talents.”

No stranger to transformation, Mendez came to the Dallas area 17 years ago from Mexico with a degree in child development. She soon became involved with Dallas Christian Women’s Job Corps (DCWJC), where she went through an eight-week program learning career development, resume writing and more. For three years she worked as a ministry assistant, engaging with DCWJC participants and assisting with the development of their goals, which proved to be a rewarding experience.

“At DCWJC I received wonderful training,” added Mendez. “I began taking some administrative courses at community college and soon heard about the position at The Storehouse for Project Hope coordinator.  At The Storehouse I quickly learned the complexity of serving those in need and the importance of meeting each neighbor’s physical needs before focusing on education and future transformation.”

Project Hope is an empowerment-based program of case management for needs beyond food and clothing. Through a network of community partners, Project Hope connects neighbors with resources that offer further stability including affordable medical care, mental health care, household furnishings and more. This program is positioned to walk alongside neighbors who are ready for the next step toward transformation with personalized support toward their goals. A Community Resource Guide (CRG) is provided online and to all neighbors who first meet The Storehouse in the food line. The CRG directs neighbors to resources for additional needs, such as new beds from Dallas Furniture Bank. Project Hope also partners with Methodist Dallas Medical Center, which brings its mobile mammography services to The Storehouse’s campus three times a year. Project Hope is always looking for more resources for neighbors not only for physical needs but also for professional services such as medical and dental. In 2024, the program is partnering with The Storehouse’s Academy education program and will focus on providing additional assessments and support of the neighbors enrolled in classes as well as employed by job partners.

“I have learned so much about critical thinking and the importance of understanding the needs of our neighbors through assessments,” added Mendez. “Integrating with The Academy and the students participating in our educational program will build upon our current neighbor relationships and allow us to better assess and evaluate needs. The neighbors participating in these programs are working hard and have demonstrated their commitment to their future success. I will also be meeting with each neighbor employed by our job partners to do an assessment of their needs, goals, and strengths as well as follow up to evaluate outcomes.”

“Project Hope is a program that has gone through many changes over the years,” added Candace Winslow, CEO, The Storehouse of Collin County. “We are excited about the changes we are implementing in 2024 that include a concentrated focus on service to our neighbors within The Academy and our job partnerships. By getting to know our neighbors well through assessment and ongoing conversations, we can tailor our support to address the root causes instead of simply putting a Band-Aid on what could be a recurring need. Working closely with neighbors in our Academy and employed by our job partners is a perfect way to ensure successful outcomes.  We are thrilled to have Nancy take the wheel in this new endeavor. Her experience, her heart to serve, and her own transformation are a powerful recipe for success, and we look forward to seeing our neighbors thrive and achieve their goals under her leadership.”

Mendez and her husband Rod reside in Plano with their three children: Kevin, 16, David, 12, and Eliana, 10. The family enjoys serving in their church, and their oldest son enjoys volunteering as a cart runner at The Storehouse’s Seven Loaves food pantry, where he utilizes his Spanish while serving the neighbors.

“I am very grateful The Storehouse has placed me in this position where I can empower our neighbors to self-advocate while teaching them how to access our resources as well as community resources,” added Mendez. “It’s exciting to see how Project Hope has evolved, from helping only women to whole families. The changes being implemented this year are going to help our neighbors overcome the many barriers in their lives and place them on paths to self-sufficiency and long-term transformation. It is an honor to be a part of their journeys.”

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The Storehouse of Collin County, a nonprofit founded in 2009, provides short-term assistance and long-term transformation to residents of Collin, Dallas, and Denton Counties through four programs. Seven Loaves Food Pantry serves over 5,000 families each month; Joseph’s Coat Clothing Closet provides clothing at no cost; Project Hope Neighbor Care offers case management and resource referral; and The Academy Education Program provides free and reduced-cost classes to assist with language, job, or life skills development. During its previous fiscal year, The Storehouse served 146,922 unduplicated neighbors with the support of more than 2,000 volunteers. In August 2023, the North Texas Food Bank honored The Storehouse with the Hope for Tomorrow Award. Visit The Storehouse EIN: 27-1883333

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