Hope After Harvey: How Disaster Relief and Recovery Helped One Family Finally Recover

Disaster Relief & Emergency Services

Upon meeting James Easter in June of 2017, we could immediately tell what kind of man he was. Hardworking, courageous, strong, and independent, Mr. Easter had been raising and providing for his two daughters and eleven-month-old granddaughter, despite facing numerous financial and physical obstacles (Mr. Easter had been living on a fixed income due to a back injury).

A Home in Need of Help

The Easters’ home was quickly falling into disrepair. Black mold had begun growing in the kitchen and bathroom, their fence was falling apart, and their roof was in dire need of service. Though Mr. Easter had attempted to apply for FEMA and cash in on his home insurance policy, his application had been denied, and the insurance company was only able to cover a fraction of the damage to the home.

Unfortunately, due to his health issues and limited financial means, Mr. Easter was unable to address the issue himself or have it done by a contractor.

A Helping Hand with DCM

This is where the Endeavors® Disaster Relief and Recovery (DRR) team came in. When Mr. Easter reached out to us, he was immediately assigned an Endeavors® DRR case manager. This case manager met with Mr. Easter directly (free of charge) and took the whole situation into account. What did the Easters need not only to survive but to move forward with momentum?

The case manager determined that the family needed assistance not only with mold removal and housing repairs, but also with utilities, clothing, and furniture.

Once this kind of assessment is made, the Endeavors® DCM team looks to the community: what local businesses, services, and organizations would be willing to help the Easters? Often, there are plenty of resources available, but families and disaster victims don’t know where to turn. We do our best to make those connections.

Connecting to the Community

The Endeavors® DCM team contacted Texas Baptist Men Disaster Recovery to present the case for assistance. Soon after, an assessment was completed and a plan was created for the mold removal process. They quickly performed a “mutt and gut” of the kitchen and bathroom, providing all materials for the repairs: drywall, carpeting, cabinets, sink, flooring, backdoor, and countertop.

St. Peter’s United Methodist Church was then commissioned to complete the home’s actual repair and reconstruction. Thanks to hardworking volunteers (and The Home Depot!), they were then able to finish up the job with further repairs to the kitchen and bathroom.

But the Endeavors® DCM team wasn’t content with a “fix the immediate problem” attitude. Now that the home was repaired, the Easters needed furniture! Houston Furniture Bank stepped up to provide mattresses, a dresser, and several tables.

Hurricane Harvey’s Devastation

The Easters’ case looked like it was almost closed…then, Hurricane Harvey happened. Harvey swept through Houston in August of 2017 with record-breaking rainfall, causing $125 billion in damage (not to mention deaths and injuries). It is currently tied with Hurricane Katrina as the costliest tropical cyclone on record.

Post hurricane Harvey flooding in Houston

Though the Easters were able to evacuate to safety during the worst parts of the storm, damage was once again inflicted on their home. It felt like a cruel setback.

A New Lease on Life

However, the Endeavors® DCM team wasn’t going to abandon the Easters. Though the family had been forced to move out of their home temporarily, we were able to connect them to referrals who provided all-new cabinets, carpeting, doors, sinks, and more! The home was painted, the bathroom floor was tiled, the walls were repaired, and the kitchen looked brand new.

The Easters now live in a mold-free home with new furniture and better living conditions. We were honored to provide assistance for such a wonderful, hardworking family in the Houston area!

What is Disaster Relief and Recovery?

Disaster Relief and Recovery goes further than most people assume. Even if you’re not in immediate dire crisis, you could still be facing the repercussions of a disaster. (Click here to see how diverse DCM cases can be!)

When you contact us, we are able to create a recovery plan and execute it quickly by referring you to the right resources in your community. Whether you need construction and repair or health services, Endeavors® wants to help you find your footing after a disaster. Overall, we want to provide a strong connection between people in crisis and organizations and businesses willing and ready to meet their needs.

If you or a loved one are in need of disaster assistance or disaster relief and recovery, we would love to connect with you. We are passionate about serving vulnerable people in crisis, improving their quality of life in innovative, personal ways. Click here to connect with someone from our team and learn more about the many ways Endeavors® can help!  

In addition to providing Disaster Relief and Recovery and Emergency Services, we also help connect military families to clinics, provide emergency staffing services, create long-term recovery plans, and far more.

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