Texans affected by Harvey still suffering mightily

Almost 100 days since Harvey struck Texas, hard statistics have delivered a disturbing wake-up call.

Rock-solid research from the Kaiser Family and Episcopal Health Foundations revealed almost half of people who suffered losses from Harvey say they are not getting nearly enough help.

 "These are not people looking for something for free," said Elena Marks, president of Episcopal Health Foundation. "These are people who want to be part of a community that picks itself up and moves forward and they are not getting the help that they need and deserve."

The partnership's survey, which covered 24 counties impacted by the hurricane, found almost half of families that were hit have lost significant income from employment that has not been replaced.

The research also found that an astonishing 74 percent of victims who applied for federal disaster relief were either rejected outright or remain in administrative limbo.

It's an ongoing ordeal that's triggered severe anguish in two out of every ten Texans struggling to recover from the storm.

"So what we are looking at with 20 percent of the people saying they have a mental health impact, that's likely the tip of the iceberg," said Marks.

The Kaiser-Episcopal research has served to confirm what outreach workers at the Texas Organizing Project have encountered in dozens of Houston-area neighborhoods still reeling from the floodwater.

"This is what we are finding," said Mary Moreno with TOP. "People are far from returning to normal. People are far from being whole again."

Bottom line, the fresh data and post-Harvey outreach amount to a hard lesson at the 100-day mark.

"We are great at getting through the immediate disaster," said Marks, who is hopeful the data will help those controlling recovery resources. "We are really not very good at recovery and we're not very good at building the kind of communities that can with stand these kinds of onslaughts,"

The research strongly indicates Harvey hit Hispanic and African-American Texans harder than whites.

The disaster also caused almost 30 percent of those impacted to fall behind on their rent or mortgage and approximately 40 percent to borrow money from family or friends.