Local leaders form Cy-Hope Disaster Recovery Network with focus on long-term Harvey recovery

A new recovery network in Cy-Fair aims to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in the long term.

A new recovery network in Cy-Fair aims to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in the long term.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey—which flooded homes and businesses in Cy-Fair over late August and early September—people throughout the Cy-Fair community joined together in recovery efforts to try to bring the area back to normal.

Now a team of community leaders, led by local nonprofit Cy-Hope, are forming a network of organizations to help Harvey victims in the long term. The Cy-Hope Disaster Recovery Network will be the first of its kind in the Cy-Fair area, said Godfrey Hubert, who serves on the Cy-Hope board of directors and has been a key player in getting the network up and running.

Hubert, who also serves as senior pastor for Foundry United Methodist Church on Jones Road, said Harvey was the fifth 500-year flood to hit Cy-Fair in the 33 years he has been with Foundry.

"We've just come to realize that, for recovery to be complete, it needs to be local," Hubert said. "The face of it has to be local."

In the three weeks since the network was launched, 14 local churches have joined as well as the Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce and Cy-Fair ISD said Steve Saunders, the network's executive director. In the past, Saunders has worked with a number of Cy-Fair area nonprofits, including Cypress Assistance Ministries and Cy-Fair Helping Hands.

"The Cy-Fair community needs an organization like this because we don’t have the municipal government or other region specific organization to lead the way during disaster recovery," Saunders said. "The Cy-Fair region’s population is nearly that of Austin, which is the 11th largest city in the U.S. The goal of the network is to provide the community with a unified effort to rebuild from Harvey and be ready to respond to the next disaster."

The network is modeled after similar disaster recovery networks in Texas and Louisiana, Hubert said. Efforts will focus mainly on case management and restoring homes. Hubert said the network will target people for whom FEMA grants are not sufficient and are not able to fund repairs themselves, as opposed to people with flood insurance or people who have the means to pay for their own repairs.

Hubert said true recovery also goes beyond restoring houses and involves providing families with emotional and spiritual support.

Many member organizations are already bringing in visiting work teams from outside of Houston to help as a part of their own efforts. Foundry Church is planning to host 300 volunteers this week, Hubert said.

Saunders said he is currently building the training and leadership programs for the member organizations who will be working with families.

"Next month we hope to be on the ground continuing the work of helping families plan for their recovery and cleaning and drying homes, preparing [them] for rebuild and repair," Saunders said. "The bulk of our work will be in full swing in 2018 as we are helping families rebuild and return to wholeness. This process of returning the region to wholeness will take several years, and we will build the network to be here for the long haul."

The Cy-Hope network has also joined the Harris County Long-Term Recovery Committee and has been participating in meetings on what shape recovery efforts should take moving forward, Hubert said. He said he is hopeful to receive grant money from the county to help fund recovery efforts in Cy-Fair.

"We are poised and ready to move forward with case management and reconstruction," Hubert said. "It's just a matter of receiving marching orders that we’re good to go."

In the meantime, Saunders said the network is in need of monetary donations as it continues to build infrastructure to handle the recovery efforts of hundreds of families. Readers can find updates on Facebook, and organizations interested in becoming members can send inquiries online.
By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


MOST RECENT

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo spoke about the county's continuing response to COVID-19 and a new small-business coronavirus relief program at a July 13 press conference. (Screenshot via Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management)
Harris County now accepting applications for $30M small-business assistance program

Harris County businesses with fewer than 30 employees may apply for funding through July 24.

The seven-day rolling average of deaths per day in Harris County has increased from 3.86 on July 8 to 8.29 on July 12. (Community Impact Staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: After three weeks of surging cases, death toll starts to rise

The seven-day rolling average of deaths per day in Harris County has increased from 3.86 on July 8 to 8.29 on July 12.

Members of the Cy-Fair Fire Department respond to a call in early July. (Courtesy Cy-Fair Fire Department)
As calls for service steadily rise, Cy-Fair department remains near full force amid pandemic

After a steep dropoff in calls during a recent shutdown, call levels have been slightly above average as of early July. However, department officials said staffing levels are currently not a concern.

Mex Taco House is bringing a second location to Cypress. (Courtesy Mex Taco House)
Second location of Mex Taco House coming soon to Skinner Road at Hwy. 290 in Cypress

The original location of the eatery opened on Telge Road in 2019.

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced in a June 30 State Board of Education meeting that students will be taking the STAAR in the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Education organizations call for STAAR requirements to be waived another year

Gov. Greg Abbott waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements in March of earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.

The new partnership will provide on-site, same-day testing and results for assisted-living facility staff and their residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State announces partnership for increased COVID-19 testing for patients, staff at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes

These test sites will help the state work toward the goal of processing up to 100,000 tests in the first month.

Texas Medical Center reports only 4% uptick in ICU bed use despite continued COVID-19 case increases

Compared to 1,350 total intensive care units in use June 30, Texas Medical Center has seen only a slight uptick in occupancies since then, with 1,394 reported July 9.

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)
Refinancing a home, police departments address protests: Popular news this week from Greater Houston

Read popular stories from the Greater Houston area on Community Impact Newspaper’s website.

Lone Star College had almost 3,000 foreign students attend in the spring semester this year. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement rules could affect thousands of Lone Star College students

Lone Star College is currently unsure how a recent ICE rule will be affected its foreign student population.

Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Harris County. (Community Impact Staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 907 cases, 12 deaths confirmed July 9

The 12 deaths—the largest single day total in Harris County since the pandemic began—brings the total COVID-19 death count in the county to 423.