Archdiocesan agencies offer relief as region recovers from ‘historic’ floods
April 25, 2016
HOUSTON — Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) are working together with parishes in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to offer emergency relief and recovery for our neighbors in need who have been impacted by the recent flooding.
Major storms swept through Southeast Texas, bringing more than a foot of rain throughout Houston. At least seven people died in what the National Weather Service described as ‘historic’ floods that inundated at least 1,100 homes and several major interstates with high water and closed dozens of school districts.
The two agencies offer help with basic needs assistance, clothing and furniture vouchers for SVDP Thrift Store, food pantry assistance, help in applying for benefits, counseling, case management to create a long-term recovery plan, and referrals for other services including legal assistance, home repairs and clean up.
How to get help
For flood assistance, first call the 2-1-1 Texas/United Way Helpline for a complete list of referrals to currently available resources. United Way’s trained Helpline specialists are answering calls 24/7 to provide information to and referrals to storm-related resources drawn from a comprehensive database of social services.
For the Catholic Charities Disaster Assistance Program, call 713-526-4611. For assistance from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Houston, call 832-538-0329.
Callers will be asked to share information for an intake and assessment and, when meeting with a caseworker, will be asked for some form of identification showing address. If you have applied for FEMA, please bring your FEMA case number.
Residents in Austin County who sustained property damage are asked to submit photo documentation of damaged property, roads and bridges to firstname.lastname@example.org with location and contact information.
Ways to help
At the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston, the Co-Cathedral Outreach Ministry is collecting new sleeping bags for children who have been displaced by the storms. For children, losing their favorite blanket, sheets and pillow can bring feelings of insecurity while sleeping in emergency or temporary shelters. New sleeping bags may be dropped off at The Co-Cathedral Centre (1701 San Jacinto St., Houston) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. or on Sundays.
Catholic Charities is seeking immediate help and support to provide emergency relief and recovery for Houston’s most vulnerable.
“We expect to receive high numbers of calls for home repairs, basic needs and help with necessities due to lost wages,” Catholic Charities President and CEO Cynthia Colbert said in a statement. “Following the May storms last year, Catholic Charities provided case management, direct assistance, and home repairs for hundreds of people, and we expect a similar situation as flood waters continue to rise this week. These flood situations result in homelessness, loss of critical vehicles, complete loss of belongings, inability to get medications and food ― very critical challenges ― and recovery can take weeks and months.”
For cash donations and to give online, visit catholiccharities.org/donate and svdphouston.org/donate. Volunteers are greatly needed, visit volunteerhou.org to learn more.