The Road to Recovery Begins Here
By Elizabeth Morse Photos by Georgia Duncan
Community organizers heavily promoted the opening of the Brazoria Multi-Agency Recovery Center (MARC). The MARC provides one-stop shopping for many recovery services. The response from both community partners and victims was even better than anyone anticipated.
The following groups were involved the first day of operation:
- The American Red Cross offered financial assistance to qualified individuals and families, and offered hydration and snacks.
- Hope Force International, a Christian disaster response agency, provided Lone Star Legal Aid answered questions about renter’s rights, document replacement, contractor fraud, food stamps, disaster unemployment benefits, and FEMA benefits.
- The Texas Department of Public Safety ran a mobile driver’s license unit.
- The Stephen F. Austin Community Health Network informed attendees about the medical, dental, pediatric, and ob-gyn services at its clinics.
- The Brazoria County Center for Independent Living, part of the Coalition for Barrier Free Living, Inc, helped those with disabilities to access Medicaid, receive food stamps, and similar types of resources.
- The Brazoria County Welfare Department emphasized housing assistance (rent, utilities, and deposits) for those who had lost their living places in the flood.
- The Brazoria County Health Department offered tetanus shots.
- The Brazoria County Dream Center, one of more than 200 nonprofit dream centers in the U. S., was doing community outreach and offering referrals. Their services ranged from food assistance to referrals for free haircuts to bussing children to pre-disaster schools.
- Youth and Family Counseling Services of Brazoria County offered free services to at-risk youth.
- The Salvation Army had a feeding truck in the parking lot from which hot meals were served to participants. Inside, they offered food, laundry services, clean-up kits, and hygiene kits.
- The Texas Conservation Corps, part of AmeriCorps, had teams ready to assist with debris removal and clean-up.
- The Galveston County Community Action Council, Inc., a non-profit social service organization, offered rent and energy assistance.
- The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team offered spiritual care.
- Children’s Disaster Services provided free childcare while parents navigated the service center.