Red Cross, other groups report more families seeking help after Friday's deadly explosion in Spring Branch

As of Tuesday, the American Red Cross of Greater Houston reports they are handling more than 250 cases involving families impacted by last week's deadly explosion in Spring Branch. 

They expect that number as families begin to process the disruption of their lives and destruction in their homes.

Since Sunday, the American Red Cross and partners like Catholic Charities and Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM) set up shop at the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints at 4703 Shadowdale Drive.

As dozens of families come in at a time, they can pick up supplies like  work gloves, trash bags, and tarps. The can also recieve on-site mental health services and referrals for rent assistance and clothing.

MAM one of the organizations receiving referrals from the American Red Cross, but they have also had about 40 families impacted by the blast directly reach out for help. 

Their main focus is to help families find housing. The organization expects the rehousing efforts to cost as much as $300,000.

"Probably the most significant support that MAM provides to the community is through the financial assistance that we provide that allows people to reestablish their housing," said Sonja Gee, MEM Executive Director.

They’ve also called on their network of churches to collect items like diapers, cleaning supplies, and gift cards for hygiene and personal items. 

MAM is using their resale shop to help families.

"They receive vouchers and come here and shop for the goods and items they need," Gee explained.

Donations for kitchenware are needed.

"We’re going to need more household items like silverware, pots and pans, plates," she added.

The Spring Branch YMCA is also accepting gift cards for the families impacted by the explosion. They are seeking out cards for stores like Lowe's and Home Depot.

American Red Cross site at Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints will open Thursday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.