Houston Recovery Center Serves Through Harvey

Houston Recovery Center Serves Through Harvey

Hurricane Harvey brought more to Southeast Texas than record-breaking rainfall, flooding, and tornadoes. For countless families, it brought untold emotional trauma. Many of us could only watch as floodwaters destroyed our homes, washing away treasured keepsakes and priceless family photographs. Many were left living out of hotel rooms and emergency shelters, unsure how to even begin rebuilding their lives or process the catastrophe that had just occurred. It is no surprise that in all the stress and chaos following Hurricane Harvey, some turned to alcohol and substance use.

Houston Recovery Center answered the call to help. Sobering center staff maintained operations through every hour of the storm and its aftermath, working hard to ensure the safety of our clients and provide a supportive place for clients to sober up. Through three weeks of record admissions after the storm, our team diligently ensured that police officers could return quickly to their neighborhoods instead of waiting to book publicly intoxicated people into jail.

Our clinicians and peer support specialists delivered recovery support to displaced individuals sheltering at the George R. Brown Convention Center. For two weeks, they assisted those who suddenly needed FEMA aid, new IDs and Social Security cards, and phones, along with many other basic needs. Most importantly, they helped people get into substance use treatment. By simply walking, talking, and listening to people, they found individuals who recognized their agency shirts and asked for help.

“You never know what tomorrow’s going to bring—how close you may be to homelessness,” said one team member. Describing how it felt to be part of a safety net of organizations helping people get their lives back in order, another simply said, “It was a humbling experience. My heart went out to those people—the need they must have.” In times of deep trauma and chaos, Houston Recovery Center is proud to serve our community.

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