HOUSTON - A group of non-profit organizations have teamed up once again to make repairs for hundreds of local families who can't afford to fix their pipes that burst in the winter storm.
The agencies first collaborated to repair homes damaged in Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Now they've reunited and added another partner to form the Disaster Home Repair Collaborative, funded through $1.6 million from the Houston Harris County Winter Storm Relief Fund.
"I didn't know it was moldy. I just knew I was getting sick," said Birdie Moseley.
When Moseley couldn't afford to repair her Sunnyside home after it was flooded in Hurricane Harvey, the Harvey Home Repair Collaborative fixed the plumbing, foundation, roof, HVAC, and drywall.
"When they took everything out, it's just when I looked it brought tears to my eyes to see what was hidden," Mosely said as tears came to her eyes again. "They made a difference."
Now Houston Habitat for Humanity, Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation, Rebuilding Together Houston, Tejano Center for Community Concerns have joined with Avenue to share resources and knowledge to repair homes damaged in the winter storm. It's not only a partnership of five organizations but of their five women leaders, they proudly point out during Women's History Month.
"We've got to do the repairs smarter, so the family gets back into a resilient mode quicker. And what you have to do is partnerships. We've learned that and it's continued," said Allison Hay with Houston Habitat for Humanity.
"We may put resources that are available to us for emergency financial assistance with another grant that's available for repairs, with another grant that's available for temporary housing," explained Kathy Payton of the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation.
Homeowners with household incomes at or below 80% of the Area Median Income can qualify, even if they have homeowner's insurance or receive FEMA aid.
"The winter storm totally illustrates that you need to have water in your home to have a safe, healthy home. So we are here for them," said Hay.
Adds Christine Hollad of Rebuilding Together Houston, "We learned from each other different techniques that were streamlined, or were more appropriate, because of the mold in the storm. Things like that. Lots of best practices shared back and forth."
"Then we'll come back, funding permitting, and start making some of the cosmetic improvements they need," said Payton.
Just as they did for Moseley's home.
"I'm forever grateful. I know they're my angels that got sent my way," said Moseley.
To apply for repairs, text HoustonFreeze to 898211 or go to https://www.connectivetx.org/