Looking Back at 2020: Responding to Hurricanes Laura & Delta

In 2020...

  • Coalitions and congregations all over Greater Houston participated in supply drives to help those affected by Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

  • Over 2,000 recycled billboards were given to tarp damaged roofs in collaboration with Every Shelter.

  • In the aftermath of the storms, SWLA Responds was formed.

  • SWLA Needs You campaign was launched to raise awareness of destruction and need.

Supply Drives Help Families in Southwest Louisiana

Houston Responds built partnerships with organizations and congregations in the areas worst hit by Hurricane Laura. Based on their feedback, one of the initial needs we helped meet was basic supplies. Houston Responds arranged for a central redistribution site in Houston from which supplies were transported to Orange and southwest Louisiana. We provided a list of the most needed supplies as well as the locations of nearly 20 drop-off sites for collected supplies.

PARTNERING ORGANIZATIONS We were also able to receive supplies and work alongside several partnering organizations in our efforts. Thank you to these organizations: Eight Days of Hope, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Louisiana Conference UMC, Texans on Mission, United Way of South Lousiana, Somebody Cares, Texas VOAD, SBP, and Lousiana VOAD.

Clear Creek Community Church from the 4B Disaster Response Network in the Bay Area was one of many congregations throughout Greater Houston that served as a drop-off site for supply donations.

First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood (FPC) delivered supplies they collected as a drop-off site to the warehouse Houston Responds used for collecting supplies to be transported to families in need.

HR Southeast spent time in Lake Charles helping Pastor Armando Murillo of Ministerio Rio De Dios serve the Hispanic underserved communities after Delta.

Over 2,000 Recycled Billboards Help Families in Need

Houston Responds worked with the Houston-based nonprofit, Every Shelter, to distribute recycled billboard vinyls to be used to tarp roofs of homes damaged by Hurricane Laura and Delta. The billboard material is much more durable than the traditional blue tarps and can last two years. This allows families more time to make the needed repairs. Read the full KHOU11 article HERE.

A recycled billboard vinyl is being used to cover roof damage from Hurricane Laura while awaiting permanent roof repairs. Each vinyl can repair 1 to 2 damaged homes.

Pastor Carlos Gonzalez of Houston Responds: Southeast, and his son, pick up 300 recycled billboard vinyls from Habitat for Humanity that were delivered to Beaumont to help the recovery effort.

SWLA Responds is Formed Post Hurricanes Laura & Delta

When Hurricane Laura hit in late August of 2020, it had devastating effects in southwest Louisiana. A few short weeks later, Hurricane Delta made landfall and furthered the devastation already brought to the area. Houston-based coalitions and congregations responded quickly to our neighbors in need. They began gathering supplies and making their way to Lousiana to help the best way they could. After months of working together, SWLA now has roughly 50 local congregations to form SWLA Responds!

Since August of 2020...

  • 94 homes and businesses were helped

  • 1737 volunteers donated their time to clean up and rebuild

  • 10,034 hours served in the SWLA communities

Houston Coalition Leaders visit with pastors in southwest Louisiana to discuss forming a coalition.

Want to learn more about the launch of SWLA Responds? Check out the full story on our blog HERE.

SWLA Needs You: Supporting Neighbors in Need

The SWLA Needs You campaign was created in order to bring awareness to the destruction and devastation brought to southwest Louisiana after Hurricanes Laura and Delta. With this campaign, we shared stories of individuals, families, and congregations that were in need of assistance. Below is the story of the Rodrigue family. You can find more stories HERE.

"You don't just sit on this. You help yourself, and then you go out and help others."

The Rodrigue family, like thousands in Southwest Louisiana, are displaced from their home after Hurricanes Laura and Delta. Patrick, Dana, and their two young children experienced devastating damage to their home, leaving it unlivable. Despite the hardships to come, Dana expressed how impactful the connections have been with individuals and churches like Church of the King and Our Saviors Church Lafayette that have aided in beginning the demo process. Dana and Patrick hope to continue living out the gospel by helping their neighbors recover while they also recover themselves. They stated, "You don't just sit on this, you help yourself, and then you go out and help others."

Many families like the Rodrigue's are living in campers or trailers until their homes can be repaired, which can take months or even years. The work to rebuild Southwest Louisiana is far from finished. #SWLANeedsYou!

This E-News was sent on April 23, 2021

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More on the "Looking Back at 2020" series HERE.