FEMA extends hotel stays for Harvey victims

When Harvey came calling few communities were crushed more completely than Dickinson -- where better than 80 percent of the population suffered flood damage.

Like thousands of others, Dr. Don Cole has found FEMA funded shelter in an extended stay hotel while his home undergoes repair.

"Well, we had four feet of water in our home. It's been a stressful time for all of us," said Cole.

Today FEMA lessened that stress by extending Transitional Shelter Assistance until January 16. For storm victims, that's at least 57 more days the Federal government will bankroll the hotel tab.

Matt Johns heads the co-operative of non-profits known as Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters. He says FEMA's extension is particularly critical because affordable housing is scarce.

"It's incredibly important right now. For those who've been displaced from their home and don't have any other option this is great, especially with the holidays coming up. People want time with their families without having having to worry, frankly, about being homeless," said Johns.

Turns out storm victim Cole is also a psychologist who fully understands the comfort continued subsidized shelter will offer neighbors still reeling from Harvey's high water.

" I think it's great. There are so many people still out of their homes in further need of assistance," said Cole adding "They've been Harvey-ed."

FEMA tells FOX 26 16,185 Texas families and a total of 47,244 people are receiving shelter assistance.