by Ted on September 1, 2005

First, neither this offer (for a free book for donors) (UPDATE: she might have run out of books by the time you read this, please check) nor this offer (for a free mix CD for donors) have expired (UPDATE: nope, still not expired). Don’t be shy.

Second, Houston is going to absorb quite a few of the refugees. This note about what Houstonians can do to help is taken directly from an email from my Representative, John Culberson, who (hopefully) ought to know. It’s long and local, so I’m putting it below the fold.

Third (thanks, nada!), MoveOn has put up a bulletin board to help match up people who need housing with people who can shelter them.

Right now, the focus is on the refugees arriving at the Astrodome. My staff has been informed by the Red Cross that, as of now, there are sufficient supplies and volunteers at the Astrodome. This is likely to change in the near future, but compared to other shelters, the Astrodome is currently in good shape and is under the direct control of the Harris County Emergency Management and the Red Cross. Also, the Red Cross has asked donors not to bring food supplies to the Astrodome, since feeding a large number of people is best accomplished through standardized supplies, which they have on hand. However, the Food Bank of Houston, the primary means of supply to other shelters, is currently running low on food. Please consider bringing food to it.

Houston Area Food Bank

The Herzstein Center
3811 Eastex Freeway
Houston, TX 77026
(713) 223-3700

Located northeast of Downtown on US 59 North (the Eastex Freeway), west of US 59 North at Cavalcade, near 610 North Loop.

There are also these smaller area food banks that you can bring food to:

Anderson Food Pantry
1508 Gregg Street
Houston, TX 77020
(713) 222-0373

TLC Food Program
8222 Antoine Drive
Houston, TX 77088
(281) 405-8600

Manna House Third Ward Food Pantry
3118 1/2 Blodgett Street
Houston, TX 77004
(713) 529-3381

Food Pantry
1330 Gessner Drive
Houston, TX 77055
(713) 467-4363

Food Pantry
4016 Sherman Street
Houston, TX 77003
(713) 228-6349

South Union Food Pantry
3601 Lydia Street
Houston, TX 77021
(713) 747-7002

The items they currently are in need of most include:

* baby formula
* diapers
* baby wipes
* canned meats
* peanut butter
* bread
* canned vegetables and fruits
* soup
* ramen noodles
* bottled water
* single-serving snacks such as granola bars
* hot plates
* can openers

In addition, the Houston Food Bank, KPRC Channel 2, and H-E-B Stores will be holding a food drive this Friday, from 6 a.m., to 6 p.m., at all Houston area H-E-B stores and the KPRC Local 2 Studios at 8181 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77074. They are accepting food as well as other critical supplies such as paper plates, cups, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene products. For more information on this effort, please call (713) 223-3700.

The Harris County Citizens Corps is another volunteer agency immersed in this effort. Please call them at (281) 564-6669.

Target Hunger is also playing a major role in the food relief effort and is seeking volunteers. Please contact them at (713) 226-4953.

The Urban League and the Wesley Community Centers are coordinating shelter availability. The Urban League’s phone number is 713-393-8700.

The United Way is also playing a central role in this relief effort. Please go to their website to download their Hurricane Katrina Resource guide, which contains valuable information on opportunities to volunteer and donate, as well as many other services for the displaced. The United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline is a critical tool for all social service needs, and if you have family or friends who have fled Katrina, they can access this service from anywhere in the nation….

After the situation is stabilized and there is relief infrastructure firmly in place throughout Houston, we will need to address the long-term needs that may be more complex. These refugees will need housing, clothing, and hopefully some form of employment, and their children will need access to education and school supplies. Mayor White has informed me that we should expect thousands of people with no means to support themselves in our city until at least December.



Nada 09.01.05 at 5:16 pm

Have you seen hurricanehousing.org ? It’s a bulletin board for people within driving distance of disaster epicenter to post rooms/etc available as temporary housing. I think it would be great if you mentioned it here. I imagine that many of the people who need temporary shelter the most will have no way of seeing the site, of course, but with enough offers up on the site, it could become a great resource for non-profit coordinators. Just getting all this information in one place is a great first step…


Ted 09.01.05 at 5:26 pm

No, I hadn’t seen it. Thanks. I’ll put up a link.


jet 09.01.05 at 6:02 pm

The Governor of Texas was on Foxnews saying that the Katrina refugess that come to Texas will be offered job training and help with relocation anywhere in the State. He did take the oppurtunity to brag about the “booming” economy there and that Texas was “a big state” that could handle all the new people. Got to love that.


Maria 09.01.05 at 6:08 pm

By the by, I know of a college student who was evacuated from N.O. and has just been offered free tuition by a small school in northern California. There is amazing generosity from people in all walks of life doing their bit to help those affected.


Ted 09.01.05 at 6:16 pm

Jet, I sure hope that that attitude holds. I’ve been thinking about the impact that tens of thousands of destitute people will have on Houston in a month or so. Luckily, Houston is very large, so it can absorb a lot of people. Unfortunately, it’s next to impossible to live here without a car.


random 09.01.05 at 6:43 pm

re: donations, just a note that DreamHost (CrookedTimber is with them, right?) are matching donations through the web panel dollar for dollar. You can take advantage of their generosity by setting up a donation link and forwarding the money on. :)


gzombie 09.01.05 at 9:34 pm

I make this offer in all seriousness: I will send a bag of absolutely incredible stone ground grits (along with recipes for what to do with said grits, including a N’awlins-appropriate shrimp-and-grits recipe) to the first 25 people who contact me with evidence (in the form of an electronic receipt, or your word of honor) that they have donated $100 to the relief effort. Contact me at non.zombie *at* gmail *dot* com.


Martin L. Martens 09.02.05 at 8:45 am

I’m sure that Universities across North America currently have open positions.

Wouldn’t it make sense to offer temporary jobs to academics from LSU, Tulane, and other universities that have been closed by the disaster and will likely remain closed for quite some time.


Logan 09.02.05 at 2:26 pm

Kudos on your efforts to bring relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. There is another way bloggers and other thoughtful people can help:

I have opened forums at http://www.DisasterReliefIdeas.org for the discussion of ideas to aid disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I am not soliciting donations, only ideas. Experts in aspects of disaster relief (housing, healthcare, rebuilding, etc.) are also able to rate these ideas, giving us a means of identifying the most promising ones, which will be shared with disaster relief professionals and persons in authority. Please help our society by contributing your ideas, especially if you are unable to contribute financially to relief efforts.


nancy p b 09.03.05 at 9:04 am

I am moved to volunteer & help…I have limitations on my physical energy…and would like to read aloud to children. Is someone doing this at a shelter and if anyone knows…is this even a welcomed idea? I will bring books that I will then leave wherever I read.
Could someone offer an idea of what I CAN do.
I am looking at other sites offered and making phone calls…so-far no idea and don’t want to be part of the problem…just make a small differnce?


Caroline Hamilton 09.03.05 at 10:16 am

I’d like to find a place to donate lots of school supplies for the displaced children now in Texas and Northern Louisiana. Any ideas for me?
– Caroline

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