Houston we have a problem:
For those of you who know me, you know that I am sitting in the middle of a Houston suburb called Spring. Right outside of the city all looks peaceful on one street, then sheer terror is on the next. In the area I am staying everything is fairly nice. Good apartments, local to the grocery store, restaurants, and then the displacement. On the corner of the streets you see homeless, worn out people. These people often have signs asking for help in the recovery of their lives after Harvey. FEMA/RedCross camps are not much different. After going through one of their facilities (no pictures allowed) I came to realize that the amount of aid we are providing is so minimal. Though we cannot simply supply gold to the entire city, I was rather stunned at the lack of necessity that I saw.
Now, why did I come here? I came here to help people who do not have flood insurance. Maybe some people just want to get out of town so I am here to buy their house and give them so relocation money. What do these houses look like?
These pictures represent not even a fraction of a fraction of these houses here in Spring subdivision known as Cypress Woods. The devastation is awful.
Now to make matters worse, many of the home owners have explained to me that people from all walks have life have shown up to help. Then, these people turn around and rob the home owners who have lost everything. That’s right.. I have heard multiple cases of “good Samaritans” robbing these poor home owners. Gaining the trust of the people here has been some what difficult. I personally have their best interest in mind, but that is not so easily translated.
What have I learned in the few days I have been in Houston?
I have learned that beyond all of the wreckage there are good people in this world. Despite the lying, cruelty, homelessness, pain, and all the other heartbreaking things, people still come together. At the FEMA/Red Cross camps there were people from wealthy to poor providing volunteer services. I saw white folks helping black folks, Hispanics helping both. Race is not a problem within these camps. Class is not a dilemma within these camps. With all of the struggles in the world it is a beautiful thing to see so many people coming together out of the kindness in their hearts to help those who have lost all that they have.
A Texas history teacher that I had the pleasure of speaking with described to me her loss. She explained that in her home the lower half flooded taking away all of her possessions. Her family had lived in their home for over 40 years, purchasing the home for roughly $70,000 dollars. One of the possessions she held so dear was a piano that her grand father had played on in clubs through out the country. He had played in various clubs and for many audiences especially in New York. Where ever he had went his Piano went with him. Seeing the piano float away broke her heart. Luckily, her and her mother managed to stay safe on the second level of their home. When they came down after the floods washed away they were happy to know that they still had each other. Their neighbors house was completely empty from bottom to top. All was gone.
After hearing but one story like this, I could only imagine the pain through out Houston. Hundred, thousands of other families had experienced similar loss. So what did this really teach me? Everything in life is temporary, materialistic, and as soon as it comes, it can also float away.
Prayers to those in Houston. If you would like to donate to my cause just click the link below: