While many people across the country, and even in Houston, do not see or hear daily reminders of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, the most vulnerable of Houston's residents are still feeling the effects one year later.
Four months after the water subsided, 18% of Harris County residents were experiencing serious psychological distress; that number rises to 48% among people whose homes were destroyed. While many have been able to return to their homes and normal (if somewhat altered) life, there are those who are still unable to return home. Nearly one third of residents report that their financial situation is worse, and one in six report that their overall quality of life is down.
According to a survey cited in the Texas Tribune, nearly 30% of those affected by the storm still say their lives are "somewhat" or "very" disrupted.
Mimi Shwartz of the Texas Monthly said in an article recently, "Houston today can sometimes seem like a city struggling with a massive case of PTSD. When heavy rains are forecast—a frequent part of life here, especially during hurricane season—people think twice about getting in their cars. There are Houstonians with recurring nightmares that the storm has returned and those who struggle with depression."
Statistics like these, personal stories like these, are why FBB is invested in long-term recovery efforts. We know the toll these disasters take, and, thanks to our donors, we are making a real difference for those affected.
FBB carefully selected beneficiary organizations who would work with the most vulnerable members of Houston to help them with long-term recovery. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to send another donation of $15,000 to BakerRipley in July. This brings our total contribution to $40,000 since Harvey's devastation.
FBB beneficiary and partner All Hands and Hearts (AHAH) has also remained hard at work after the 2017 hurricanes. AHAH has completed 996 projects related to Hurricane Harvey recovery. FBB is proud to announce we were also able to send another donation of $15,000 to AHAH in July, bringing our total contribution for Harvey recovery to $40,000 (and an additional $11,000.00 to AHAH for Irma recovery). We're so grateful to our donors for helping support these long-term recovery efforts.
For more good news, check out this recent tweet in which AHAH announced the much-anticipated reopening of the Rhodes School. FBB deployed a team in April to assist with the clean-up and rebuilding efforts of this school, and we're thrilled its doors are now open!
The Humanist Disaster Recovery program is sustained through a partnership between Foundation Beyond Belief and the American Humanist Association (AHA). We thank AHA for their generous support of our efforts.