Following Hurricane Harvey, a total of 41 counties in Southeast Texas received a federal disaster designation, and nearly 900,000 individual assistance applications had been received by FEMA by the end of November 2017. An additional 200,000 to 300,000 individuals and families were also impacted but did not register with FEMA, mostly because of fragile legal status. Many residents are still displaced from their homes, some still living in hotels across the state and beyond. The storm also impacted schools, affecting more than 1 million students and 220 school districts throughout the region.
Philanthropic dollars, though significant in support of this disaster, will not be nearly enough to address all the needs. It is imperative that the funds available to support mid- to long-term recovery through the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund be used in a focused and purposeful manner, leveraging other public and private funds to have the biggest impact on the recovery efforts. Since a large percentage of the public funds for Hurricane Harvey are geographically designated specifically to meet recovery needs of Houston and Harris County, it is also important to support recovery efforts throughout the entire region.
October 2017 – $50,000 grant awarded to OneStar Foundation
February 2018 – $1.2 million awarded to seven long-term recovery organizations
March 2018 – $266,500 awarded to two local disaster recovery organizations
June/July 2018 – $4,026,094 awarded to nine outstanding organizations
A grant committee featuring national, state and local experts in the areas of long-term recovery, nonprofit and government leadership, and the issue areas identified during the assessment has been convened and held its first meeting on January 11, 2018. The purpose of this committee is to advise and assist the CDP Board of Directors and staff leadership in awarding grants. This advice will help CDP maximize the impact of donor generosity that recognizes the full life cycle of the disaster.
Grant committee members include:
Committee Chair: Lori J. Bertman, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge- based Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation. Lori is the co-founder and chairman of the board of CDP.
John T. Cooper, Jr., Ph.D., is the Assistant VP of Public Outreach and Partnership at Texas A&M University. He has an extensive background in disaster long-term recovery, especially as it relates to community resilience, and has previously directed the FEMA-funded Emergency Preparedness.
CDR Elizabeth Hastings is the Texas Federal Health and Social Services Recovery Field Coordinator, Office of Emergency Management, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.
Kelli King-Jackson is the Senior Program Officer for The Simmons Foundation, a private foundation located in Houston and focused on education, health, civic & community, and human services. She brings more than 15 years of experience working in nonprofit advocacy.
Damian Morales is the Disaster Services Manager for the OneStar Foundation, where he works to support Texas resiliency. He also serves as the chair of Central Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).
Rey Ocanas is based in Houston and serves as the Executive VP and Director of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation for BBVA Compass. He also oversees the bank’s corporate foundation.
Bob Ottenhoff, President and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy
New grantees will be posted as additional grant funds are awarded.
All Hands and Hearts received $527,000 for the Hurricane Harvey Repair Project: Coastal Bend to improve the ability of the most vulnerable families in the Coastal Bend region of Texas to recover from Hurricane Harvey. All Hands and Hearts will provide full housing recovery for approximately 90 people (36 homes) in San Patricio, Refugio and Aransas counties.
Attack Poverty was awarded more than $1.17 million, to be distributed over two years, for the Disaster Recovery Capacity Building project. The funds will allow Attack Poverty to increase its capacity to support full recovery from Hurricane Harvey, and build individual and community resilience within the communities where they are currently working, Fort Bend and North Harris counties, and expand into Brazoria, Galveston and Liberty counties. They will also provide support and technical assistance to those working to provide recovery services in other counties.
The Baytown Area and Chambers County Recovery group has received $166,500 from CDP’s Harvey Fund. They’ll use this grant to hire a case worker and a project manager to expand their reach to rebuild and repair more homes in their area. They will focus their efforts in support of elderly and disabled residents first and foremost in order to address the needs of those who have the greatest needs and the least resources for recovery.
BuildAid Houston – A Project of HomeAid Houston – received $700,000 to provide full home repair services to homeowners across the greater Houston metropolitan area who experienced flooding due to Hurricane Harvey. BuildAid is the Houston area’s home builder community’s response to the devastation created there by Hurricane Harvey. Through this program, qualified homeowners will be matched with experienced builder members of the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) who will walk them through a finish selection process. The funds provided to support BuildAid Houston will result in at least 20 completed houses for low-income, vulnerable individuals and families.
The Coalition for Environment, Equity and Resilience (CEER) received $164,000 to engage a community education director to convene public-private meetings regarding recovery efforts and available resources, and to advance the eight-point plan adopted by CEER member organizations. Additionally, CEER will draft targeted white papers outlining community issues for presentation to elected officials or others in the recovery effort, and seek public input or comment on dollars directed toward communities. The 24 member organizations who are part of this important collaborative effort will advocate for those whose voices are most often not heard during recovery and mitigation following a disaster.
The Coastal Bend Recovery Group received a grant of $250,000 to work with case managers to identify an estimated 8,000 households and refer them to community resources for further assistance; purchase materials for and coordinate the repair or rebuild more than 100 homes; and, to initiate an initiative to address additional unmet needs in the area.
The Disaster Leadership Team received a grant in the amount of $50,000 to support communities and Texas Long-Term Recovery Groups working to recover from the effects of Hurricane Harvey. They are also planning to develop an online searchable database of long-term recovery forms and documents for other groups to use as they ramp up for the long-term recovery process.
Enterprise Community Partners received $500,000 as a match to $1.5 million in funds provided by the Rebuild Texas Fund for their Housing and Economic Assistance to Rebuild Texas (HEART) program. The program will help families throughout Texas move into healthy, safe homes that are rebuilt to withstand future major flooding and/or hurricane events. Enterprise will work in partnership with the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) to provide technical assistance and sub-grants to build the capacity of local housing rebuild/repair organizations working in Texas.
The Galveston County Long Term Recovery Group was awarded $219,000 to facilitate county-wide outreach and communications on available disaster-related services and advise local government and other stakeholders on community needs and the state of the recovery. The grant also enables the LTRG to directly fund disaster case management and analyze disaster related data to conduct outreach and to identify service gaps in the county.
Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity was awarded $500,000 to help low-income homeowners achieve strength, stability and self-reliance by repairing and/or rebuilding their homes that were damaged by Hurricane Harvey. These funds will be used to expand Golden Crescent Habitat’s reach into more counties to include: Victoria, Goliad, Dewitt, Jackson, Lavaca and Refugio Counties. These are all locations with few other organizations working to rebuild. Funds will be used to help hire project managers designated to the service areas and contractors when volunteer labor is either not available or requires skilled supervision.
Good360 was awarded $250,000 for Good360 Hurricane Harvey Long-Term Recovery to accelerate Hurricane Harvey recovery by solving challenges around logistics and the distribution of needed goods. The grant funds will also satisfy unmet product needs of nonprofit organizations working in long-term disaster recovery in southeast Texas. Specifically, by providing distribution methods and warehousing, the grant will support getting products to where they are needed, and storing and organizing them in a way that is easily accessible to Good360’s nonprofit partners.
Help! I’m Hurting! Inc., was awarded $100,000 to address the long-term recovery needs of Port Arthur’s uninsured and under-insured residents who have been unable to secure assistance with recovery needs. They plan to support community resident sustainability and meet and maintain housing needs.
Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative (HILSC) received $427,202 for Making People Whole After Harvey – Immigration Legal Services through the Equal Justice Works Disaster Recovery Legal Corp. HILSC is focused on helping immigrants without legal status navigate complex social and legal services systems, both public and nonprofit. This funding will support recovery among the immigrant population and help build resiliency for this population in Texas by deploying four immigration lawyers or “fellows” to Catholic Charities’ Cabrini Center for Legal Assistance, Human Rights First, YMCA- International Services and the Tahirih Justice Centers, all member organizations of HILSC.
Houston Responds received $750,000 over 18 months to support increasing community and organizational resilience. Houston Responds works to mobilize churches for disaster response. These funds will help support building the resilience of the communities they serve by developing and/or expanding coalitions of local churches in disaster response networks; empowering network leadership and training church liaisons; ensuring coordination with community leadership and VOAD organizations; advising and supporting network fundraising to secure long-term viability; and developing a model for church networks that can be replicated elsewhere. Specifically, funding will support these efforts in 15 to 22 regions and will help build networks in each of these regions of 20+ churches representing 10,000+ potential volunteers.
The La Grange Area Long Term Recovery Team will use their $100,000 grant to hire a case management supervisor, volunteer coordinator, and construction manager to oversee the process for rebuilding, repairing or relocating homes in flooded neighborhoods along the river in flood zones. They will focus on helping those residents who did not qualify for FEMA assistance and are some of the most vulnerable living in their community.
Lone Star Legal Aid was awarded $500,000 to be used to match more than $2 million provided by the Rebuild Texas Fund to help Lone Star continue to provide legal services to Harvey-affected victims. Legal services provided will include evictions, lease terminations and other landlord problems; mortgage difficulties such as foreclosure; repair scams, insurance scams and appeals; property rights, title-clearing, probate and tax problems; environmental hazards; lost/destroyed documents; appealing FEMA decisions; income maintenance; access to health care, education and unemployment benefits; and family law issues and estate matters. Funds will be used to provide attorneys and paralegals with expertise in disaster-related legal issues in 25 of the 41 affected counties. In addition, funds will be used to facilitate outreach to those who can most use the services provided.
NECHAMA – Jewish Response to Disaster received $150,000 for their Wharton County Rebuild Project. Funds will help provide basic repairs and rebuild to homes affected by Hurricane Harvey in Wharton County, as well as muck and gut and sanitation as still needed. NECHAMA will complete repairs on 36 homes, and will work closely with fellow CDP Hurricane Harvey Fund grantee, the Wharton County Recovery Team.
OneStar Foundation was awarded a $50,000 grant to add an additional staff member to their disaster services program with work dedicated to supporting long-term recovery efforts across the state of Texas. The new staff member has been hired and is currently working to support training and stand-up of long-term recovery groups.
TechSoup Global received $200,000 to enable community service organizations in disaster-declared counties of Texas to increase their resiliency by strategically migrating their operations to the Cloud to maintain their operations during disaster. TechSoup will identify local consultants that will be able to support building organizational resilience to develop and implement an organizational disaster resiliency plan. Funds will also be used to deliver an updated Disaster Planning and Recovery Guidebook.
Texas Children’s Hospital was awarded $779,917, to be spent over two years, for the expansion of the Trauma and Grief Center at Texas Children’s Hospital’s Mobile Unit program. The funding will increase access to best-practice care among traumatized and bereaved children affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Trauma and Grief Center will expand its mobile clinic program to include two units that will provide trauma-informed assessments and care to youth located in the most underserved areas of greater Houston. These units will go to neighborhoods and schools to provide care for children and family members most at risk for PTSD, grief, bereavement, depression and other stressors related to the effects of Hurricane Harvey, particularly those most vulnerable in the population – lower income, immigrants, minorities, etc. Care providers through the mobile units will meet the children where they are, in their communities and in their schools. Referrals for more intensive care can be made to other programs through collaboration with other providers in the Houston Medical Center.
The Texas Tribune received $50,000 for “Public Service Journalism Covering Hurricane Harvey.” The grant will help the Tribune continue to provide coverage on Hurricane Harvey that is not already being provided by other news outlets – going deeper on policy and infrastructure issues, tracking response in Washington, and watching the long-term effects on the economy and the demographics of the region. As the national spotlight has moved away, the Tribune has remained on the story, devoting extra resources to this disaster and how it continues to affect people and policy alike. The Tribune follows recovery funding, housing issues, environmental disasters, links to health and mental health issues, and stories of individual challenges to recover and rebuild lives. The Tribune will also continue to produce free, on the record, public events and panels specifically related to Hurricane Harvey recovery.
United Way of Orange County received $250,000 as the fiscal agent to establish implementation of long-term recovery teams to support the unmet needs of the citizens affected by Hurricane Harvey in Orange, Hardin and Jefferson counties. Orange County Disaster Rebuild and Hardin County Strong are both fully operational and working toward recovery in their respective counties. Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick, and county commissioners are working to identify the best structure for long-term recovery in their county.
The Victoria County Long Term Recovery Group will use their $250,000 grant to establish a permanent, effective and accountable long-term recovery group. This group will plan and provide recovery services to individuals and families affected by disasters in Victoria County.
The Wharton County Long Term Recovery Group received a grant in the amount of $100,000 to provide for the unmet needs of Harvey survivors within the county. The organization’s goal is to provide the infrastructure for long-term rebuilding. Some of this work will be done through direct assistance and rebuilding. Other elements of the work will be to coordinate volunteer groups to provide assistance.
- Bee County Sheriff’s Office received $45,000 to support the purchase of specialized response vehicles to use during emergencies.
- Calhoun County was awarded two grants: 1) $3,156 to support the purchase of emergency cots, toilets and supplies to be used for emergency sheltering and 2) $22,500 to purchase fuel tanks with high capacity pumps that tie to a generator for use with emergency vehicles in Precinct 1.
- Town of Fulton received $50,000 to purchase a portable generator for use during power outages.
- City of Ingleside was awarded $10,000 to advertise and educate citizens about the emergency notification system and how to use it.
- City of Port Arthur received $34,100 to purchase four rescue boats to use during flooding emergencies.
- City of Port Arthur Emergency Operations Center was awarded $65,900 to purchase and update equipment for the city’s emergency operations center.
- City of Port Neches received $29,000 to purchase sandbags, generators, ready-to-eat meals and a rescue boat for use during disaster emergencies.
- City of Simonton was awarded $13,955 to purchase equipment to support emergency responders.
- Ed & Hazel Richmond Public Library received $17,184 to purchase and install storm shutters on the library building.
- Grace Episcopal Church was awarded $19,000 to purchase showers, ice-making, hot water and back-up internet facilities so that the church can better operate as an emergency shelter and as a host for volunteers post-disaster.
- Houston Area Women’s Center received $100,000 to purchase and install three generators to maintain electricity during outages.
- Houston Arts Alliance was awarded $75,000 to conduct disaster resilience training for arts agencies and artists.
- Houston Community ToolBank received $50,000 to develop an emergency operations plan, provide training, and purchase disaster tools and supplies for use by disaster response and recovery organizations during and after disasters.
- Missouri City Fire and Rescue was awarded $15,000 to fund organizational preparedness training and training materials.
- North Channel Assistance Ministries received $20,000 to purchase a generator to provide emergency electrical power for their food pantry, and to purchase an ice maker.
- Orange County was awarded $82,140 to purchase sand bag fillers and related equipment for use during flooding emergencies.
- Portland Chamber of Commerce received $15,000 for disaster preparedness training for small businesses.
- Refugio Independent School District was awarded $59,919 to purchase a large storage building to protect school vehicles during disasters.
- San Jacinto College Foundation received $48,112 to conduct hurricane preparedness seminars and distribute disaster kits.
- South East Texas Regional Planning Commission was awarded $100,000 to purchase software to match people in need of rescue with first responders and civilian volunteers.
- South East Texas Regional Advisory Council received $100,000 to purchase two class C tow vehicles for use during disaster emergencies.
- The Texas Women’s Empowerment Foundation was awarded $65,000 to provide training and disaster preparedness kits.
- The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston received $40,000 to purchase diagnostic screening equipment to facilitate rapid triage at community-based locations
- Tri-County Emergency Medical Services was awarded $33,578 to purchase a rescue vehicle and hurricane shutters.
- Tri-County Fire Department received $98,000 to purchase two rescue boats and trailers.
- Trinity Episcopal Church in Baytown was awarded $28,000 for community preparedness kits, emergency supplies, and installation of shower and laundry facilities to enhance the church’s facilities for use as an emergency shelter and for housing volunteers post-disaster.
- Waller County Office of Emergency Management received $50,560 to purchase a swift water rescue boat.
CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund grants have helped rebuild the capacity of local organizations and empowered them to serve their communities at a time of great need. As the long recovery process unfolds, please read and share their stories.
We’re grateful for all the generous donors to the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund in support of recovery work currently underway. Though this fund is now closed, please consider supporting our efforts to transform disaster giving. We will use your donations where they are needed most. Explore additional ways to support CDP here.
- Join the Hurricane Harvey Recovery: Biweekly Funder Briefings.
- Use the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook to guide recovery and funding.