Story and photos by Bonnie Robert Will 

When LaShonda Young and Reginald Whitfield sat down at the Kingwood Recovery Center with Red Cross caseworker William Delaney, they were hoping for some help, but were already feeling a little better than when they entered the building. “It has been a pleasure today since we walked in the door, we have felt nothing but love,” Young said. “The Red Cross people have tried to make us relaxed and laugh.” 

After a few questoins, the couple share their experience during Imelda.  

“LaShonda was at work and we didn’t expect much to happen,” said Whitfield. “All of a sudden, the water was coming through the walls and before long the dirty brown smelly water was all the way to the top of the bed frame. It was awful. Our clothes were in drawers in the bottom of the bed frame, so we lost them all, we lost everything.” 

The flood may have taken many things from them, but family wasn’t one of them. 

“I have a cousin that had a houseful of evacuees already, but she opened her arms and her house,” Young smiled.  “She told us – we will make room for you.” Even though space is kind of limited the couple fee lucky to have a place to stay where they feel welcomed. “We are going to save money so we can find another place as soon as possible.” 

After hearing their story and asking all the necessary questions, Delaney was able to help them financially and went on to explain how their client assistance card could be used. “The funds on your card can be used for anything you need, with a few exceptions,” Delaney said. “Other than that, you can use it like any other debit card.” As he wrapped up their visit, he ended by saying “I enjoyed meeting you both and I am so glad you are still smiling. I wish you the very best.”  

Young replied, “You are the reason we are still smiling.”  

This couple saw the flood waters take their belongings, but it did not take their hope and determination.