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Houston Home and Studio Flooding

$31,638 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 459 people in 5 months
Friends and family,

I am Keliy Anderson-Staley, a photographer who has lived in Houston for four years, and I am raising funds for myself, husband and children. These funds will support our immediate needs in the aftermath of the flooding from Hurricane Harvey--clothing, lodging--and some of our longer term needs, especially to replace camera and studio equipment essential to my livelihood. We are asking for this support for use as soon as possible. This money will go directly to us and our needs. 

As many of you have heard, our house in Southwest Houston was completely flooded during Hurricane Harvey. The nearby bayou rose quickly on Saturday night and began to come in through the doors and walls early Sunday morning. When we left the house, there was already two feet of water in every room. Even as I write this from the safety of a friend's house nearby, rain continues to fall. 


We have been truly touched by all your words of kindness and support via Facebook and text and email. I sometimes wonder how real social networks are, but your words have all felt so true and very real, and I have been turning to them for comfort. We are so grateful to have so many friends and family across the country thinking about us. I am also so grateful for the Houston arts community and all my photo friends who have checked in and reached out.




It looks like our home may be uninhabitable for a long time. When we left, two feet of water had already inundated the whole house. We lost both cars, Matt's book collection, all our clothing, toys and furniture. My tintype and photo archive, the source of our livelihood, is all on a second floor and mostly seems safe. I have, however, lost some equipment, including some essential to my work, and I may come home to even more losses. I'm not sure when my studio will be functioning again, which means a tremendous set-back for us. Meanwhile, life and work go on.  I'll have a busy semester at University of Houston, Finn will be starting pre-k when the public schools reopen, and I have several exhibitions opening this fall, with the work already going up on the wall. 



In the meantime, we are feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed. Fortunately, we have flood insurance, but we'll have to see what the adjusters say. We are just beginning, though, to realize how costly this will really be, and how long it will be for things to get back to normal. I am a bit embarrassed to ask for financial support, but I have decided to set up this go fund me site to help us get our household and my studio back up and running, and also to help with our immediate needs--rental car, some new carseats, clothing for the four of us, diapers.

Please don't feel you need to help us in this way. You have already helped us so much, more than you could ever know, with your expressions of love and concern. I also, want you to know that any help will be to get us through this difficult time, but that I plan to make an edition of prints (see my work at www.andersonstaley.com) to thank those of you who contribute and as a way to repay your generosity. When things are up and running again, I will send a print to anyone who donates and would like one. 



There are also so many people in Houston in similar or worse situations and some in extremely precarious situations, so if you have the means, please find a way to help them.



I think Houston is sometimes not well understood by people who don't live here or by people who haven't visited it, but it is a beautiful city full of beautiful people, and my heart is broken right now. 

Thank you so much for everything!

Love,
Keliy and Matt
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Hi everyone,

Thanks to the help of so many, we've been making steady progress on demo at the house. After a mold problem last year, we aren't taking any chances. We are still staying with the good friends who took us in during the storm. We will be here another week, and then we are moving to another friend's place for a couple months. I will follow up with an address for any of you who need it. The public schools are finally reopening this week and Finn will have his first day of pre-K on Monday. Things won't be normal for us or the city for a long time, but we are determined to approach putting things back together with some positive energy. I just want to say again how grateful we have been for all your support. The response has been beyond anything we could have imagined. So many photographers among those who have contributed whose work I know and love but have never met. I am so proud to be part of a community that comes together to help each other. And of course we have been so grateful for the love and support of our families all over the country. We don't have any family in Houston, and it has meant so much to hear from so many. We are ready to start the process of rebuilding, helping this city rebuild, and spreading the word about this great place and the people who make it so strong. With love and thanks, Keliy, Matt and the kids.
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I am so touched by how generously friends and family have been helping us. As you know, though, this city is in a very bad situation, and many, many people are suffering deeply and won't ever fully recover. Please consider donating to one of the relief organizations on the ground. Houston is extremely diverse, but like every city of its size, it is deeply segregated along class and racial lines. Although this disaster has touched everyone here, many do not have any network of support, and their stories do not reach the media.

We will be donating, too. Thank you!

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund - GHCF: ghcf.org
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The outpouring of support and help over the past couple days has been so humbling and overwhelming. Matt and I cannot even begin to tell you how much every little text and note has meant to us, and we cannot believe how many of you have contributed to our emergency funding campaign or shared it with others. It feels strange to us to accept money in this way, especially when we think of all the people in the city who are far worse off than us and will need so much to get their lives back together. It makes me more determined to reach out and help in every way that I can. In times like this, we must all be neighbors to each other.

One other thing--I have found the strength of the photo community so inspiring. I have seen so many photographers whose work I admire but who I have never met in real life share my post, saying that we must all be prepared to help out because it could be any one of us impacted in this way. Because I am a photographer who loves to share her work, I am looking forward to making prints to repay all of you for your generosity.

Finally, an update on our situation: We are still safely at a friend's house. Somehow it also continues to rain, and I think everyone in Houston must be on the verge of madness right now as they hear it still falling. The floods have receded in this neighborhood, though, and our house has drained. We managed to get in there earlier. All our belongings on our first floor are destroyed and I lost more photography equipment that I can really bare to think about right now. My work is safe, though, and dry, as are many of the paintings and photographs I've gotten from other artists over the years and that it would hurt me to lose as much as my own. Matt is devastated about his books. He knows they can be replaced, but they were filled with years of notes and commentary, and he described it as feeling like he lost a part of himself.

We are feeling hopeful, though, and the kids are in unbelievably good spirits. There is another toddler where we are staying, and the three of them have become like siblings. It's true what they say about the unbreakable spirit of children.
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$31,638 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 459 people in 5 months
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