DISASTER RECOVERY 2017 - 2018 Hurricane Harvey Recovery - Neighbors Helping Neighbors
2017 - 2018 Hurricane Harvey Recovery - Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Our recovery efforts commenced immediately following the storm as we began to receive and distribute donated supplies and materials. These efforts quickly expanded in response to the need to assist families with clean-out, muck and gut, and emergency needs. For the first two weeks, we deployed volunteers with required materials and supplies daily to assist families and have since transitioned to deploying an average 130 volunteers on Friday and Saturday. As of Oct. 2, 62 homes and families have already been served with complete clean-out, muck/gut, furniture moving and additional supplies to remediate possible mold and other toxins caused by the water damage. This work is in addition to the countless families who were served as a part of our distribution of dry goods, personal items, non-perishables and “go-boxes” equipped with mucking tools, contractors trash bags, mask, gloves and cleaning supplies. In some instances, we have moved beyond the point where cleanout is environmentally-friendly
We continue to be a hub for area community groups, faith-based groups, and elected officials to coordinate, warehouse, and distribute donated supplies. We have on-site a 40 ft. storage container and an offsite warehouse with 3500 sq. ft. for additional supplies
Ongoing, we will focus on home repair and restoration assistance, building on our ongoing canvassing and mucking work. FWCRC will hire 2.5 full-time staff to meet ongoing demands of recovery. Counselors, administrative, and project/operations managers are already designing project and client management systems. Additional skilled personnel will be contracted for home assessments and inspections and construction services to manage the volume. We have the organizational experience and capacity to do owner-occupied home rehabilitation, and have managed Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Social Service Block Grant (SSBG) Funds for owner-occupied home rehabilitation and recovery programs in the past.
Recognizing families’ financial strains and vulnerabilities, Fifth Ward CRC is making Emergency Financial Assistance available to clients to mitigate income loss from disaster, minimize foreclosures resulting from increased living expenses, and assist with utilities or unmet expenses.
Lastly, Fifth Ward CRC is hosting a long-term recovery resource center staffed with housing counselors, volunteer legal services, and computer kiosks for residents to use in filing claims, printing and scanning documents, and staying connected electronically during their transition. Full operations are planned for October 20, 2017.
The population served by FWCRC will target low-to-moderate-income families with a majority of the request for assistance coming from African Americans and particularly seniors and the disabled.. Our services are not exclusive to a particular ethnicity or economic class but we have established criteria that prioritize assistance based on need.
People make their way through a flooded street during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images