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Gulf Coast Community Services Association, Inc.

Hurricane Harvey Response
Relief From the Storm

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall
on the Texas coast as a category 4  storm. It was one
of the most devasting tropical systems the Gulf Coast
region had experienced in nearly 50 years. Within four
days, Harris County received more than 50 inches of
rain, flooding  between 25 and 30 percent of the county.
Thousands of households evacuated by boats, trucks,
kayaks and any other means available.
The city’s two major convention centers housed an 
estimated 12,000 displaced residents, with shelters
throughout the city taking in additional thousands. By
November 2, Harris County residents submitted more
than 436,000 valid applications for assistance to FEMA.
As residents worked together to weather the  physical
and emotional effects of Harvey, the collective response
became known by the moniker ​Houston Strong​.
Richard Carson | Reuters

GCCSA | 9320 KIRBY DRIVE | HOUSTON, TX 77054  713.393.4700 |
GCCSA Response: Our Approach 
As a Community Action Agency, critical assistance and stabilizing families are at the core of our
long-standing commitment to change lives. We understood that to invest in families and their
communities so that they could regain their security, our assistance would need to intensify over the
coming months. After receiving $1.2 million dollars in disaster relief-funds from the Texas Department
of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), Gulf Coast Community Services Association (GCCSA)
drafted an aggressive plan to identify impacted Harris County residents living at or below 125 percent
of the federal poverty level. The agency was also awarded $100,000 in additional monies in support of
our efforts from socially-committed organizations
such as the AARP Foundation and National
Celiac Association, and fellow agencies in the
Community Action Network. For complete donor/grant
details, see page 4.

GCCSA formed new partnerships and expanded
existing relationships  with local community
organizations to perform relief efforts. We
streamlined the eligibility process for displaced
individuals and families needing interim assistance,
which allowed the team to respond quickly with
services and other supports. In the face of such
great need, the strategy included outreach to
some of the hardest hit areas and most vulnerable
populations. Head Start and Early Head Start
survey respondents across 21 Centers allowed us
to ascertain the level of damage and loss that
income-insecure households experienced.
Using historical program results and housing market data assured the most impactful financial
assistance while serving as many people as possible. A look at the GCCSA Relief Package demonstates
the mult-pronged approach to addressing the needs of both renters and homeowners affected by
Hurricane Harvey.

Benefit Package Homes received
Household Size significant water
Identified Need: 1-3 or 4+ people: damage
Income Insecurity $825 per Household
Loss of Wages Incurred vehicle
repair costs or
Loss of Property $225 or $400 Pre-Paid
Voucher complete loss of
Gas Card $50 or transportation
Transportation Bus Card $30
Food Food Assistance Income earner(s)
experienced loss
of wages or total
job loss

Total GCCSA Head Start and Early Head
Start Survey Respondents: 940 Families

A Community in Action: Outreach to Hardest-hit Communities & Populations

Our Approach is purposeful: for the
The AARP Foundation betterment of the most vulnerable
Affected persons age 50+
with housing, food and populations in Harris County, TX.
income insecurities We are most impactful in the Community
because of our strategic partnerships, and
they have been everything in mitigating the
JD Walker
Bread of Life, Inc. Community Center crisis that Harvey wrought.
Housing displaced *Baytown and
shelter-evacuees. Southeast, TX We harnessed our past experiences
significantly damaged
with disaster relief efforts,
assessed the needs of the Community, and
leveraged these cooperative
relationships by bringing together
Harris County Commissioner
Rodney Ellis & Staff powerful coalitions to help
Seniors in need of immediate Houston Recover.
financial assistance
With each disaster, we learn more about
our capabilities, our
strengths, and the goodwill
of our neighbors who will lend a
Northshore Community
Fellowship of Fair helping hand for the
FEMA-designated outreach
betterment of others.
Dr. Jonita Wallace Reynolds
Chief Executive Officer

Hurricane Harvey: By the Numbers

18 recorded 9 of 19 river
gauges set
values over 48 records in SE 6.8 inches of
60.58 inches 500,000 cars inches of rain Texas* water in an hour
Harvey was the Harvey’s maximum With 36 to 48 inches Nine out of the 19 The rain rates observed in
most significant winds of 132 mph recorded in the official river gauges these bands on Aug. 26-27,
tropical cyclone occurred during a Houston metro area. in Harris County 2017, were exceptional,
rainfall event in several-hour period These rains caused (which includes the with 6.8 inches of rain in
United States concluding with its catastrophic flooding city of Houston) just one hour documented
history, both in first Texas landfall. in Harris and recorded all-time in southeastern Houston
scope and peak Galveston counties. high flood stages. from extremely heavy rain
rainfall amounts. bands training over the
same location. The front
hardly moved from August
27-28, leading to the
extreme rainfall totals in the
Houston metro area.
Source: National Hurricane Center Tropical Cyclone Report

Operating Budget
Annually, GCCSA receives over $25 Million
dollars in federal and state funding to
advance our mission in the lives of Harris
County individuals and families.

Hurricane Harvey Relief
GCCSA received over $1.3 million
in private and public dollars to
support relief efforts.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Community Partners
Outreach Hosts l Baytown JD Walker Community
l Rodney Ellis – Finnigan Park
Community Center
Organizations and Agencies who
hosted GCCSA Client Services Team l Bread of Life, Inc. l Houston Health Foundation
Outreach Events. l City of Houston Health l North Shore Community
Department, Magnolia Multi- Fellowship of Faith
Purpose Center l Northwell Health
l Harris County Precinct One

Furniture Assistance
GCCSA provided $131,000 in Furniture l Exclusive Furniture l Katy Furniture
Assistance to our HS/EHS Families.
Furniture packages were customized l Hilton Furniture
by these local retailers, and included
selections of children’s bedding and
furniture, as well as living room sets.

Relief Supplies Partners
Donations of Perishable and Non- l Bread of Life, Inc. l Houston Food Bank
Perishable Food Items, Water,
Baby Wipes and Diapers, Personal l City of Houston Health l Individuals and Families
Department supporting their Neighbors
Care Items, Household Goods and
Cleaning Supplies. And 13,000 sq. ft. l H-E-B l TODD Events
of space to store Harvey inventory.* l Houston Area Women’s Center l David R. David*
l Houston Celiac Support Group

Harvey Relief
Provided By:

Survivor Stories
The Oxfords, a family of 7 children ages 4 to 15,
lived in Baytown, Texas. They were forced to
evacuate their home after it was overtaken by
water during the rains of Harvey. After 7 shelters,
they remained homeless.

On October 2, 2017, the Oxfords were referred to
GCCSA by Health & Human Services. Navigating
the Houston Metro system, they came to us,
asking only about the emergency food stores
in the GCCSA Food Pantry. Thanks to the many
donations we received from our community
7 members of the Oxford family, pictured with GCCSA staff partners specifically for disaster relief, we were
able to provide the Oxfords so much more: a Wells
Fargo Visa Gift Card, Houston Metro bus passes, undergarments, bathroom items, meals,
and hope. Hope that was reflected in the story shared by Mr. Oxford, as he told us how he
rescued his children from the rising water.

The Oxford family was all smiles when they headed out our lobby doors, thankful to be
together and appreciative of the generosity of so many whose names and faces they will
undoubtedly pass anonymously on the street in the days to come.

Earl and Gwen are a retired couple who lived on
the Southwest side of Houston. Their home was
near a bayou that spilled its banks and rapidly
flooded their area of the beltway.

They described the floods as a hungry monster,
ready to gobble up everything in its path. Before
they knew it, the water had risen as high as a foot
and a half up their wall before they were able to
wade to safety, grandchildren in tow.

Early and Gwen’s home was gutted, and they
moved in with his brother while they waited
for reconstruction to start. Not ones to be inactive, they did what they could to help his
brother’s neighbors with clean-up.

The couple came to GCCSA for emergency supplies for themselves and their grandbabies.
GCCSA supplied them with: diapers, undergarments, cleaning supplies, and personal care
items. Earl, recently retired from an energy company after having double bypass, open
heart surgery, was grateful to have been strong enough to get his family to safety. The pair
came away from the experience happy to have all made it out alive and to be in a position
to help others.

Donna Burton | US Customs and Border Protection, Rescue Operations


Our Results
Over the course of 2.5 months, GCCSA provided rental payments, food, children's bedroom sets and financial
assistance to meet the basic needs for 1,087 households in Harris County. We accomplished the goal of a
thoughtful and impactful community engagement through 31 outreach events, resulting in $1,213,737 given
directly to the community.
Providing overhead space, outreach and staff time, our Community Partners increased that investment. With
mission-driven organizations and partnerships such as: Harris County Commisioner for Precinct One Rodney Ellis
and Finnegan Park Community Center, JD Walker Community Center, City of Houston's Magnolia Multipurpose
Center, Northshore Community Fellowship of Faith, and Bread of Life, Inc., we connected to families like Earl and
Gwen and the Oxford Family. For their hope-filled stories, see page 5.
Hundreds of others with shared experienced received supportive services through donations and funding dollars
for Hurricane Harvey purposes. A generous grant from the AARP Foundation allowed partnership with City of
Houston’s 2100 Memorial Senior Housing to support relocated tenants. GCCSA worked closely with a property
management company to develop a relocation plan for residents that removed barriers, such as limited resources
and financial restrictions. Outreach
with Harris County Commissioner Ellis “Everything I own was anything, any little bit
resulted in seniors who lost personal is appreciated. I really just hoped for a gas card to get to
property and had minor repair needs, tomorrow, but this...this is so much more than I hoped for.
receiving monies towards replacing Thank you!”
personal items. GCCSA's Head Start, - Dee Brown, Harvey Relief recipient
Early Head Start Centers and corporate office identified impacted families and staff members. Customers
enrolled in our Case Management programs received additional support in their progress toward transitioning
out of poverty when their momentum was halted by the storm.
GCCSA expended all federal and state-funding per compliance standards, investing in an impactful way:
directly with individuals and their families. For over 50 years, we have provided opportunities to families that
are economically challenged. Post-Hurricane Harvey, this remains our focus. We understand that recovery takes
time, dedication from friends and neighbors, as well as companies and organizations like our own to sustain
continued progress and stronger communities. Programs and financial assistance for Harris County's impacted
families continue today. For more of our efforts and those in the future months, please visit

Strengthening Families

322 families received
financial assistance

101 families who lost
everything received
furniture sets, equaling
$131,000 total value.

$1,150 average financial
assistance received per
household, representing
$432,000 total.

Educate. Equip. Empower.
To earn the confidence of the citizens of Houston and Harris County so that GCCSA becomes
the exemplary model for social services in the community.

The Gulf Coast Community Services Association engages partners and forges strategic
alliances to educate, equip and empower individuals and families in their pursuit of economic

The Promise of Community Action
Community Action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities and
makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to
helping people help themselves and each other.

©2018 Gulf Coast Community Services Association | Hurricane Harvey Response: Relief From the Storm