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Parisa & Soheil's Relief Fund

$12,652 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 78 people in 19 months
Created August 29, 2017
Nikki Nabi
on behalf of Soheil Ghanbarzadeh
My dearest friends - I know there are a lot of good causes out there and all of you donate often and as much as you can; but please take a second to consider donating, sharing or ideally both to help my cousins Parisa and Soheil, and their 2-year old son Neekon.

My cousins live in Houston, and I know there is a lot of tragedy their right now, but their neighborhood was specifically chosen by the US Army Corps of Engineers to be sacrificed in order to protect the surrounding areas. They opened the Barker reservoir (which is adjacent to their neighborhood) purposely to alleviate the rising water in hopes that they could control the water flow into the Buffalo Bayou.

Early Monday morning my cousins were evacuated with the help of the coast guard from their single family one level home due to the dangerous rising water levels. Fearing their safety, they left quickly with nothing in hand just to get somewhere safe. All major roadways along and adjacent to their neighborhood and the reservoirs are now completely underwater and inaccessible. The Army Corps of engineers estimates a minimum of four weeks to several months before their neighborhood is no longer flooded and access to them can be granted. Meaning their entire livelihood will be sitting underwater, indefinitely. Basically they have to wait until the reservoir empties to even have the chance to get back to their neighborhood and what's left of it.

They are gainfully employed and insured but there is no indication any help is coming soon. Insurance won't be able to even get an estimate on repairs for months, and who knows when they will actually be able to get funds or how much it will cover. 

You can read more about the release of the reservoirs here: www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/post-nation/wp/2017/08/28/houston-releases-water-from-two-dams-in-attempt-to-prevent-uncontrolled-overflow/

and here: https://www.google.com/amp/amp.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2017/08/28/what_happened_to_the_reservoirs_that_were_supposed_to_protect_downtown_houston.html

Parisa and Soheil immigrated to the US in 2012 for a better life and academic opportunities. Soheil worked hard in school, living minimally, and finally received his PhD just last year in Austin. During this time they had their son Neekon, and saved what little money they received during his summer work internships to buy their first home. Soheil accepted a position in Houston and moved his family there. They recently purchased their very first home, in a small Houston suburb, and couldn't have been more excited! (See the main photo from settlement day.) I know because I helped guide him through the process along the way.

Since arriving in 2012, they have been working hard and saving to be able to give Neekon a wonderful life in the US. And now, with the devastation of Harvey, they had to leave everything behind with no turning back.

They had just started feeling settled in their new home. Furnishing it, creating a warm space for their son to grow and their family from overseas to visit. Clothes, pictures, electronics, appliances, cars... nearly everything left behind for the water to take.

They have been told that it will be months before they can get back into their home to see what, if anything is left. Again, they're starting from zero.

It's not often I ask of help like this, but I just don't know what else I can do. They have no way to leave Houston at the moment, and even if they could what can they do? I have started this fund to at least help them get on their feet and know that the process to rebuild their lives can happen again.  The money raised will help them find/afford temporary housing (while still paying their existing mortgage), get them to Virginia if needed, and really any cost that they're going to incur while they sort this whole mess. 

If you can donate, thank you. If you can share their story, thank you. Thank you for your love, support and continued prayers. Those that know me, know they're my only family here in the states and they mean everything to me.



I appreciate all of you. 

Warmest regards, 
Nikki Nabi
(Parisa's first cousin, and only family in the US)
Great Falls, Virginia
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Thank you everyone for the outpouring of support, kind donations, and overall prayers/well wishes. I cannot thank you enough for the effort this network of wonderful friends/family/colleagues/ has given my family.

Soheil is currently staying with a friend in Houston. He is volunteering for cleaning other people’s houses while he is still in Houston. Yesterday he was at a neighborhood recently taken off of mandatory evacuation helping out. He said all the volunteers were chest high in water in some of the areas trying to help get the houses cleared. They are doing this because whatever neighborhoods don’t have a mandatory evacuation on them are not receiving any aid from the Coast Guard – their focus is on the neighborhoods with the mandatory evacuations in place. This presents a problem in itself because these people have to figure out themselves a way to get to their properties and out through the excess water.

It was suggested that residents receive a Tetnus Vaccine booster, which Soheil recently received. Due to the unknowns about the water cleanliness, it is a good precautionary measure. The water has started to smell bad and it’s overpowering the city.

More on the city water - http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/08/28/546781492/stay-safe-and-get-a-tetanus-shot-texas-health-officials-urge

Parisa & Neekon are set to arrive in Virginia soon and will stay with me. Soheil will hopefully follow shortly after that once he is able to tie up any loose ends regarding work and the situation with their home.

And update on the situation in Houston:

As I’m sure you already know, the city is still badly flooded. They estimate that Houston won’t look like it did before the storm for another 3-5months. Federal help is still very limited. Officials are reducing the number of neighborhoods with mandatory evacuations, however Soheil & Parisa’s neighborhood is still evacuated and will be for some time. Almost all the neighborhoods intentionally flooded along the reserve and Buffalo Bayou are that way.

Due to looting and stealing occurring in the Houston area police have enforced a strict curfew from 11pm-5am daily. They are not allowing any access to Parisa & Soheil’s neighborhood due to the water level, and further trying to keep what’s left of the homes protected. The most recent update from the Sherif’s department is that they will have access to their property in a minimum of 4 weeks. I will continue to keep everyone updated as I get more information.

Thank you again for all the support. You are wonderful. All of you.
+ Read More

$12,652 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 78 people in 19 months
Created August 29, 2017
Nikki Nabi
on behalf of Soheil Ghanbarzadeh
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