A Tropical Storm, a Young Family, and an Unlikely Story of Hope

Disaster Relief & Emergency Services

Pregnant and living in a home damaged by a flood, this Texas family found hope and recovery with help from Endeavors.

In 2019, Tropical Storm Imelda spent 2.5 days ravaging counties across Texas

In just sixty hours, the storm did enough damage to leave communities picking up the pieces for over three years. 

Today, Endeavors continues to offer a hand to individuals, families, and communities knocked down by the storm. Slowly, with the help of community partners and generous donors, they are beginning to reimagine “life after Imelda.” 

A Young Family In Crisis

In Harris County, Texas, Rocio and Gonzalo Delgado were struggling to pick up the pieces after Imelda damaged their home. When the storm hit, six inches of water flooded their house, soaking their furniture and belongings. The young couple (two months pregnant with their first child) found themselves devastated, overwhelmed, and unsure where to turn for help. 

The couple tried to find the funds to have the repairs made themselves, but without flood insurance, they couldn’t afford the repairs. They couldn’t afford to move, and they felt trapped in a home that was becoming increasingly unsafe to live in.

In addition to damaging the drywall, doors, and flooring, the water from the storm had seeped into the walls and festered in mold. Every day, the young mother-to-be was breathing in harmful toxins. And when Rocio gave birth to their baby, they had nowhere to bring their little girl but into a storm-ravaged home. 

Proving There Is Always Hope

This is why Endeavors Disaster Case Management is designed to assist disaster survivors not with immediate disaster relief, but with long-term recovery. Not everyone qualifies for assistance from every relief organization, and Endeavors is here to step in when all other resources have run out. Endeavors offers Disaster Case Management services for federally declared disasters, connecting clients to local resources based on their verified needs.

When Endeavors connected with this young family in September of 2020, they were still living in their Harris County home, raising their then six-month-old in an environment that was unsafe to live in. Upon visiting the home, our Disaster Case Manager, Angeline Richardson, immediately saw that the home was in dire need of repairs and didn’t waste any time interviewing the family for the intake process. 

Both Rocio and Gonzalo were Spanish-speakers, so Richardson brought in Alvaro Hernandez, a Disaster Case Management Supervisor fluent in Spanish. Together, Richardson and Hernandez reassured the family that they still had options and that Endeavors would work ceaselessly to help them rebuild their lives. 

Creating A Path To Hurricane Recovery

When it comes to clients like the Delgados, Endeavors’ Disaster Case Management is there to help those with persistent recovery needs after other aid resources have been exhausted. 

DCM Richardson persisted and was able to connect the family with Endeavors’ long-time partner, Team Rubicon, a national nonprofit organization specializing in disaster response. 

Team Rubicon’s amazing volunteers quickly and thoroughly made over $19,000 worth of life-changing repairs to the family’s home. They eradicated the mold from the flood, repaired interior ceilings and walls, replaced the roof, and installed new elevated doors that would protect the family from being flooded in the event of another catastrophic storm. 

Even with pandemic restrictions, home visits were not a good idea, so Richardson and Hernandez called the family every single week to provide updates on applications, materials, and repairs. 

“Angeline developed a wonderful relationship with the family,” Hernandez remembers. “She followed up every week, provided updates, and made sure the client felt supported every step of the way.”

Once the final coats of paint were dry and all the door hinges tightened, DCM Richardson worked with Endeavors’ contacts at the Salvation Army to have over $500 in furniture delivered to the family. Finally…they had a solid roof over their heads, and dry beds to sleep in. 

Today, this beautiful family has a safe forever home to raise their baby, and a chance to write a new chapter. 

Rebuilding Homes, Rebuilding Lives

Many people impacted by disasters like Tropical Storm Imelda are relatively unaffected in the immediate aftermath of the storm. They are safe, they have a home, and they have food and electricity. But in the months after, the scars left behind by the storm reveal themselves. Water damage. Mold growth. Leaks in the roof. Suddenly the home they were thankful survived the storm proves to not have survived as well as they initially thought. 

This is why communities cannot rely on Disaster Response alone. Disaster Response is an immediate deployment of assistance to shelter those displaced by natural disasters and meet their essential needs – shelter, food, medical attention. Disaster Case Management is a long-term recovery service that evaluates the specific needs of individuals families and clients, and executes customized recovery plans that might include: 

  • Home rebuilds or repairs
  • Furniture or appliance replacements
  • Rebuilding community bridges and roads
  • Restoring connection to utilities like electricity or running water
  • Acquiring battery-powered medical equipment for families cut off from power
  • Installing water cisterns for a town with no running water
  • Finding local counselors for mental health services

(Read: “10 Inspiring Stories that Prove Disaster Case Management Matters”)

Connecting Disaster Survivors With Recovery Resources

While many natural disaster survivors qualify for financial assistance and resources from nonprofit or state organizations like the Red Cross or Salvation Army, every organization has its own paperwork to complete and submit. This process can be lengthy and overwhelming, especially for people who have just lost their homes or are living in tenuous situations, like our clients in Harris County. Endeavors Disaster Case Managers are committed to easing that burden for our clients. We are experts in navigating these assistance programs, we problem-solve under pressure, and we always advocate for our clients to ensure they receive the recovery aid they need to reclaim lives of stability and dignity. 

If you or a loved one are in need of disaster assistance or disaster case management, we would love to connect with you. We are passionate about serving vulnerable people in crisis, improving their quality of life in innovative, personal ways. Click here to connect with someone from our team and learn more about the many ways Endeavors® can help

In addition to providing Disaster Case Management and Emergency Services, we also help connect military families to clinics, provide emergency staffing services, create long-term recovery plans, and far more.

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