BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Hurricane Harvey refugees are making their way back to Houston, discovering what's left of their homes, and asking what's next? Baton Rouge area organizations are stepping step up to help.
"At any moment, stuff can be taken away from you and our folks were so grateful to be able to make it through the process. It is a natural thing to help those that are dealing with the same thing now," said Jim Forbes, worship leader at Christ Community Church in Denham Springs.
Forbes says while they're collecting donations, such as canned food, non-perishable items, and baby supplies, for their second trip to Texas, it's important to know the needs of the storm victims. Organizers say clothes aren't the most needed item right now, but if that is your donation of choice, they're asking that clothes be new, placed in bins or boxes, and clearly labeled with the size and gender.
"Folks can see that when it comes right off the truck and they know it fits me. To have to go through a big garage bag of clothes and no one knows what's in it, that's hard because people are grasping for things that they know they really need," said Forbes.
As Hurricane Harvey victims shift to the rebuilding process, their needs shift as well, and that's where Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge steps in. "We knew that our community wanted to respond. The best way that we could do that as a Habitat affiliate was to gather those resources that homeowners would need to gut their homes, which is the first step in the rebuilding process," said executive director, Lynn Clark.
Clark says Habitat for Humanity is a long-term housing solution. She says collecting items like hammers, masks, dehumidifiers, and materials necessary for cleaning and gutting homes will help victims begin the rebuilding process. She says it was a no-brainer, based on what they helped do in the Baton Rouge area last August. Clark says they helped clean and gut 100 homes locally following the flood and understand the demanding work ahead for the victims.
"Our mission is that every person deserves a simple, decent place to live and I think the flood showed us how important home is to everyone," said Clark.
Forbes says beginning Monday, September 11, they will begin focusing on collecting cleaning supplies. They plan on taking a truck full of supplies to Texas next week.
Right now, both Habitat for Humanity locations are serving as donations sites as they prepare to make another trip west. Donations can be dropped of at the following Habitat for Humanity locations:
- Habitat for Humanity ReStore Southeast: 10300 Perkins Rd. #102, Baton Rouge
- Habitat for Humanity ReStore North: 4301 Airline Hwy., Baton Rouge