Tears were shed, gumbo was served, and for the first time in years, one very thankful Gladys Wyatt got to enjoy the comforts of her own home. Scenes like these from the ribbon-cutting celebration at the completion of our 100th Houston Rebuild are exactly what fuel our passion for service. Today, we have even more cause to celebrate as we announce that Team Rubicon is the proud recipient of a $200,000 grant from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP). This grant will support the continuation of our Rebuild program and empower us to serve more Hurricane Harvey survivors.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy is a national resource dedicated to helping donors maximize their impact by making more intentional disaster-related giving decisions. For years, they have advocated putting more money, attention, and manpower into the most difficult phase of a disaster: long-term recovery. Their grant will allow us and our Greyshirts to do just that as we head into our third year of Rebuild. “Team Rubicon will use this third year in Houston to not only bring 25 families back home, but also as a springboard into new communities across the country,” said Head of Capabilities Corey Eide. Additionally, the grant will allow us to develop an internal client services function that will aid survivors and their families attempting to navigate the complicated process of rebuilding their homes.
CDP’s grant is unique because of its specific designation for long-term recovery initiatives, which unfortunately, hundreds of Houston-area homeowners remain in desperate need of. A full 30% of Harvey-affected residents are still struggling with effects of the storm; of that group, 40% say they are not getting the help they need to recover—a figure that has not improved since January of 2018. These neglected survivors are disproportionately concentrated in the historically segregated and underserved communities of Beaumont, Orange, and Port Arthur, where 20% of residents remain displaced from their homes. The waters may have receded long ago, but we stay as committed as ever to bringing hope to all our neighbors in need.
Resources for the grant come from CDP’s Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund. Donors who share our commitment to the people of Houston contributed more than $14 million to this fund that supports the physical, social, and economic restoration of the region. When deciding what charitable organizations to disperse grants to, CDP had four main focus areas: housing, mental health, capacity building, and legal services with a focus on vulnerable populations for an equitable and long-term recovery. These objectives are at the heart of the Team Rubicon Rebuild program, and our work over the last two years has demonstrated our ability to accomplish them.
Similarities in values, outlook, and approach made cooperation between Team Rubicon and CDP a clear choice. The Houston Rebuild program will benefit massively from having a partner that recognizes the importance of stable, habitable homes in the process of disaster recovery. For our part, we would like to thank the Center for Disaster Philanthropy for its support and the difference this grant will make in the lives of survivors. We look forward to our continued work together, and to more homecomings worth celebrating.