The mission of the Galveston County Long Term Recovery Group (GCLTRG) is to develop resources to meet the needs of Harvey-affected Galveston County residents.
Tell us about your most memorable day (so far) in your work at GCLTRG.
One of the most memorable days in my time with GCLTRG was last Thursday, when we witnessed a family returning to their badly damaged home, which we repaired. We held a housewarming celebration and got to hear from a few folks involved in the process: https://www.facebook.com/i45NOW/posts/2023556431066287
Glenda Matthews, a Dickinson resident and local schoolteacher, was a victim of Hurricane Harvey. The damage was so severe that she and her 82-year-old mother were forced to live with family members for over a year. As a school teacher, with a modest salary, she was unable to raise the thousands of dollars for repairs that FEMA and her insurance would not cover. Additionally, like many on the Mainland, she assumed she did not need flood insurance. Moreover, she is the caretaker for her 82-year-old mother which added to her financial burden. Michael Stanton was the Disaster Case Manager who helped Ms. Matthews navigate the rough waters of the FEMA, Red Cross and the Disaster Recovery Process.
How has the community or your peers benefited from work funded by the Moody Foundation?
Harvey, which struck in August 2017, dropped 27 trillion gallons of water over 29,000 square miles and affected 135 million people in Texas and nearby states.
We will be using the funds from the Moody Foundation to help as many families as resources will allow to return to their homes. We are grateful to the Moody Foundation for providing much needed funds to help our friends and neighbors to come home.
What are you using the funds for? Why is that significant?
The number of unrepaired houses in the County is so large that there simply aren’t enough volunteers to fix them all. Therefore, we need to hire quality contractors to do these repairs. Our Moody Foundation grant makes this possible. This will enable us to cut month, maybe years, off the time required for the Recovery.
Over a year ago, Hurricane Harvey affected thousands of Galveston residents. What services did you provide and how many people did you serve?
We coordinate the long-term recovery efforts of the County. Our efforts revolve around Disaster Case Management for affected families, giving them a plan for recovery. We work on supporting construction and volunteer management, providing furniture and other household needs, and aiding with behavioral, spiritual and mental health support.
What do you hope GCLTRG will achieve in the next several years?
Our mission translates to a vision of a county where residents have recovered and achieved their new recovered state, i.e., their “new normal”. Below are the goals that Galveston County Recovers hopes to achieve within 2-3 years after the storm.