Message From Our President

Message From Our President

HAUL Helps Families Recover From Natural Disaster

  • by HAUL
  • Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Dear Urban Leaguers,

Hurricane Harvey has left an immense mark in the hearts of many Houstonians. We know many of our friends and neighbors are still in the process of recovering from this storm, which created such devastation. I am thankful that the Houston Area Urban League has been able to accomplish an extraordinary amount through our immediate recovery efforts, but as we learned through our Operation SAFE Houston natural disaster recovery initiative there is so much we still have to do.

To offer some perspective of how forceful the storm was, Harvey brought over 50 inches of rain to the city. This translates to an astonishing one trillion gallons of water, which left over 140,000 homes, businesses, and other establishments damaged. What was most unfortunate of all, was the storm took the lives of 36 individuals. Knowing the destruction this storm has caused, it became our mission to help as many of our citizens as possible through partnerships with shelters, recovery centers, local and national leaders. Over the past months, we have worked diligently to provide resource assistance and essential volunteer guidance. We have also provided referral information, as well as performing safety check outreach to our clients and other members of the community. Through the passion and commitment to serve, our staff and volunteers were also able to provide 990 hours of service in order to help families sheltered by George R. Brown Convention Center and NRG facilities. Thankfully, we were able to provide such services, while maintaining our normal operating services, which include our departments in youth development, housing counseling, workforce and small business development and health outreach.

The Urban League has now moved into the next phase of the recovery efforts, which will now include assigning Disaster Case Managers to the thousands of families reportedly needing long-term disaster case management. We have also began organizing Pop Up Shops, where new clothing, gift cards, furniture and other social services are being provided and delivered to neighborhoods impacted by the storm. Individuals and entities that are involved in executing these tasks include local and national celebrities, elected officials, HAUL staff and volunteers. Since these shops were implemented, we were able to distribute 9,277 items thanks to the churches across the Houston area. We were able to provide such needed aid to over 2,300 families. These shops are made possible by our partnerships with The Links Foundation, Delivering Good, NW Mall, A-Rocket, the Astros Foundation, Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF), Comcast, Houston Independent School District, and Houston’s Mayor and City Council and the generous supporters like yourself, both nationally and locally.
The road to recovery can be a long and arduous journey. Thankfully, with the resources and partnerships that our organization has been able to acquire, the Houston Area Urban League has been able to provide much needed aid to Houstonians that have been greatly affected by the storm. We will be here with them and will provide the tools and resources necessary to help them stand again, that you can count on. Even though Harvey was a powerful force to the city, the care, the compassion, and the spirit of community from the people of Houston, was simply a much more powerful force. With the help of people like you and community partners like the United Way, and others, we will continue this phase of the recovery for as long as needed.

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The mission of the Houston Area Urban League is to enable African Americans and other minorities to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.

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