McCrimmons pose for a photo in front of their damaged home in January 2018, as Bayou City Fellowship begins to assess the damage for repairs.
The McCrimmons have lived in their Fifth Ward home for over 30 years. They are known by neighbors and friends for their generosity and uncanny ability to carry a smile, even in the hardest circumstances. More recently, those smiles have been put to the test as both Jerry and Terri have been suffering from significant medical ailments. Terri suffered a stroke shortly before Hurricane Harvey, and Jerry was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. Today, Jerry's requires dialysis two to three times a week as a result. Throughout all of this, the McCrimmons still find the time, strength, and will to give back to their community by continuing their tradition of cooking a hot meal for the neighborhood to enjoy together every holiday.
In 2017, when Harvey struck, the McCrimmon's home–along with countless others–suffered severe damage. "Even though their home needed extensive repairs, this lovely couple remained humble and asked only for minor repairs and a new bed", said Colleen Henneke, previously the director of Bayou City Fellowship's disaster response organization called, Bayou City Relief. The organization was instrumental in Harvey relief efforts in Fifth Ward & Kashmere Gardens and in the formation of the Houston Responds Disaster Response Coalition of local churches in that community now called Northeast Houston Responds.
"Even though their home needed extensive repairs, this lovely couple remained humble and asked only for minor repairs and a new bed."
In May 2018, Bayou City Relief, BuildAid and FWCRC formed a pilot project to come up with a solution for Jerry and Terri's home. The damage was severe and would take considerable time and effort to return it to livable conditions. The three organizations came together to not just repair the house, but to demolish it and build the McCrimmons an entirely new house in the exact same location.
The amount of work and care put in by these organizations was nothing short of incredible. Each one providing a vital service throughout the operation. FWCRC paid for the McCrimmons to stay at a hotel, store their belongings during the project and demolition of existing structure. Bayou City Fellowship did the foundation work, all underground repairs, the roof, framing, insulation. Finally, BuildAid teamed up with David Weekley Homes and took it from bare studs to finishing touches, including new furniture and appliances.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on November 26 to celebrate and welcome the McCrimmons back home.
On November 26th, 2019, after months of hard work, Jerry and Terri were finally welcomed home, just in time for Thanksgiving! Representatives from each of the collaborators, neighbors, news stations, and loved ones from all over gathered to celebrate the McCrimmon's homecoming.
As part of the ceremony, the family was surprised with an entire Thanksgiving dinner provided by the National African American Corvette Club. It was a touching moment of genuine thankfulness just two days before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Click here for more information on getting your church involved in serving families still recovering from disaster.