CCHD supports groups working to overcome Harvey's 'agonizingly slow' recovery

November 12, 2019

(Photo courtesy of USCCB/CCHD)

HOUSTON — On Nov. 23 and 24 there will be a second collection at Masses in the Archdiocese to support the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), which allocates funds to community projects that promote the mission and vision of CCHD while adhering to the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church.

For nearly 50 years, the CCHD has been the official domestic anti-poverty program of the Catholic bishops in the U.S., raising public awareness about poverty, its causes, and working to break the cycle. 

There are more than 40 million people in the nation living in poverty. On average, 2.5 million children experience homelessness in a year. This collection supports programs to empower local communities to address the challenges they face. 

Twenty five percent of funds collected remain in the Archdiocese to fund local anti-poverty projects. Locally, the Gulf Coast Leadership Council (GCLC), a branch of The Metropolitan Organization (TMO), is one of the organizations in Houston who benefited from the CCHD collection. They have used the funds to continue their efforts to help Hurricane Harvey victims.

Sherry Dunlap, a TMO/GCLC leader with her church St. Francis of Assisi, said, “GCLC has held outreach events at 26 different churches and schools in Harris, Fort Bend and Jefferson Counties. Over 1,200 families have learned about and applied for the assistance they need to repair or rebuild their Harvey damaged homes.” 

Dunlap worked directly with over 30 families from Northeast Houston to get them back into their Harvey damaged homes.

“Our role is to organize Harvey outreach sessions at churches so that families can seek the help they still need in a place they trust,” she said. “Many of the families we work with are elderly, disabled or non-English speaking, and they will not seek help without encouragement and support.” 

According to Dunlap the pace of disaster recovery for low income, uninsured families is extremely slow. 

“During 2019, over 26,000 families sought help from the City of Houston or Harris County housing recovery programs,” she said. “Over 5,400 families are now in the application process with the city but so far only 24 families have had their homes repaired, rebuilt or been reimbursed by the city for their out of pocket expenses.” 

Dunlap said the organization plans to apply for another grant from CCHD in hopes to continue helping Harvey victims as well as the thousands of families in Northeast Houston, Kingwood and Beaumont were flooded by Tropical Storm Imelda in September.

“The disaster organizing grant from CCHD has helped us dig in and understand how to help vulnerable families recover from Harvey and other disasters,” she said. “This is an agonizingly slow process for families who don’t have insurance or the resources to recover on their own. CCHD is making recovery more possible for some of those vulnerable families in Houston.”

To learn more about the Collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development visit †