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Houston Maritime Museum
Harris County
Press Release
Thursday, February 01, 2018

Houston, February 1, 2018 — HOUSTON RESPONDS, a first of its kind organization focused on mobilizing strategic coalitions of churches and nonprofits to help Hurricane Harvey victims across 11 Houston area counties, is launching its program on Monday, February 5, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Junior League of Houston, 1811 Briar Oaks Lane, Houston, 77027. 

“Hurricane Harvey isn’t in the news on a daily basis anymore but the sting of its devastation continues,” said Tommy Rosson, founder and Executive Director of HOUSTON RESPONDS. “Church communities have the desire to help but not necessarily the tools, training or partnerships to do so. HOUSTON RESPONDS is about bringing all of that together to walk thousands of Houston’s impacted families through disaster and create a model for future disasters.” 

Rosson points to 2018 statistics showing that 258,000 requests for individual assistance for 11 Greater Houston counties have been approved by FEMA. At the same time, nearly 68,000 flood insurance claims have been submitted and 7,300 households are living in FEMA-funded hotels[1]. Given the magnitude of need, HOUSTON RESPONDS is working to unify, empower and mobilize a regional coalition of churches and nonprofit networks to help families who are still in the grips of one of the largest natural disasters in history. It is committed to keeping churches informed, engaged, equipped and motivated to handle the recovery movement needed for the upcoming years. 

The February 5 event will bring together Houston area church, city and non-profit leaders to learn about HOUSTON RESPONDS and collaborate on how to assist families long term. Chief executive officers from Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Houston will be featured panelists. Other organizations represented include the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, Union Baptist Association, Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and United Methodist Committee on Relief.

The Houston chapter of the nationwide Barnabas Group, an organization that matches the marketplace with ministries to facilitate business support, is hosting the event. 

When asked if HOUSTON RESPONDS is a possible duplication of efforts with other organizations, Rosson commented, “We are harnessing the giving spirit of church communities in collaboration with other organizations to powerfully extend assistance and manpower where it is needed. There is so much need and we are honored to help our community for as long as it takes.”  

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