Photo from All Hands Volunteers
Hurricane Harvey submerged Jermaine Anderson’s home under three feet of water.
“Everything I had was obliterated,” he said from one of the last mass shelters for hurricane evacuees in Houston—a shuttered department store inside a mall. “How much more could a person lose in a single year?”
I met Jermaine last month when I visited Houston. He is one of the thousands of people struggling to rebuild their lives in Houston and the surrounding area after Hurricane Harvey.
Two months after the powerful storm made landfall, the need for basic assistance is still high, especially among Houston’s most vulnerable residents. About 85% of the storm’s victims don’t have flood insurance and hundreds of thousands have been denied FEMA assistance, or are still waiting to receive it.
Thanks to you, they have somewhere to turn.
With your donation, our local nonprofit partners are addressing gaps in services and providing a vital safety net for hurricane survivors in Houston. Because of your donation, they had the resources they needed to respond to urgent and emerging needs on the ground. These heroic first responders have been working around the clock to coordinate emergency relief operations and develop long-term recovery plans, all while juggling their pre-Harvey duties.
Here’s a look at what your donation has made possible:
Hundreds of people whose homes were destroyed by Harvey have a place to live thanks to a rapid re-housing partnership between the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County and Houston landlords. The partnership provides six-month rental coupons for apartment units around the city. The coalition has also furnished more than 300 homes and stocked more than 400 pantries for hurricane survivors thanks to GlobalGiving donors like you.
Since Harvey hit, the Houston Food Bank has been operating at three times its normal capacity. Leveraging an extensive network of partners, including companies and regional hunger relief organizations, the bank set up mini-distribution sites and food delivery services in Harvey-hit neighborhoods. It also extended its hours to accommodate storm-displaced families.
“We go where we’re asked to go, and do what we’re asked to do.” That’s how Tommy Holstien describes BakerRipley, a Houston-based nonprofit that’s been around for more than 100 years. In the difficult days and hours that followed Harvey, the nonprofit set up an emergency shelter that housed more than 7,500 people over 26 days. BakerRipley is still managing a food and supply warehouse for Hurricane Harvey survivors. It’s filled with diapers, sanitary napkins, cleaning supplies, canned food, pet food, and more unused, high-demand items. BakerRipley staff told me they’re now focusing on long-term case management for storm survivors. Approximately 20,000 people are on a waitlist to receive storm-related assistance through BakerRipley.
Harvey unleashed 33 trillion gallons of water on U.S. soil, much of it dumped right over northeast Houston. For weeks, Minden Square apartments in Houston were covered in stagnant, dirty rainwater. The walls of the apartments are now stained with ugly, brown water lines—about knee-high, they’re a reminder of Harvey’s power. All Hands Volunteers are gutting the units, now infested with poisonous mold, at no cost for survivors. This is one of more than 160 home renovation projects that All Hands Volunteers have tackled in Houston since Harvey hit in August, and they have committed to helping Harvey-impacted residents in Houston rebuild over the next two years.
Because of your gift, Houstonians had a warm and safe place to sleep after the storm. Because of your gift, hundreds of families now have an apartment to call their own. They have food in their pantries and hope for the future. Recovering from Harvey will take years, and our partners are so grateful for your support.
Britt Lake + the GlobalGiving Team
P.S. To help meet acute needs in Texas, GlobalGiving will match your donation to organizations responding to Hurricane Harvey up to $1,000 at 100% while funds last on #GivingTuesday.
Photo from the Houston Food Bank
Cassie Jones coordinates BakerRipley's warehouse