Mourning losses, but fighting for Houston

Written by: Ginny Goldman

Date: August 30, 2017

Texas Organizing Project (TOP) is the Houston-based affiliate of NCRP nonprofit member the Center for Popular Democracy. The following is an urgent appeal from Ginny Goldman, TOP’s founder and former director, who is now chairing the Harvey Community Relief Fund, which has been established by a network of Texas-based social change organizations.

As Ginny puts it, “When camera crews head home, and it’s time to rebuild Houston, the people on the ground will need organizing capacity and legal support to fight for themselves. The partners of the Harvey Community Relief Fund will be there.”

While my family and I remain safe and dry, unfortunately, for the broader Houston community, this is a disaster of historic proportions. As you are well aware, our community is agile and committed, so we are ready to mobilize in response to this crisis to meet immediate needs and rebuild our community over the long term. To paraphrase Mother Jones: we are mourning our losses, but fighting like hell for Houston.

The Texas Organizing Project Education Fund, Workers Defense Project, SEIU Texas, Faith in Texas (a PICO affiliate), CWA, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service have established the Harvey Community Relief Fund. This fund of organizations trusted by communities in Houston will pool resources and coordinate their distribution. In this way, we can not only make sure that the resources are used in a timely and effective manner, but that they are used to meet the needs of the most vulnerable communities as we rebuild Houston.

Spread the word. Please distribute the Harvey Community Relief Fund information widely. Nearly a quarter of Houston’s population lives in poverty – approximately 550,000 people. In addition, an estimated 575,000 undocumented immigrants live in the Houston metro-area without access to many of the public disaster relief resources.  We will work to move material support and critical services to those who need it – from first response and humanitarian aid to housing and legal needs.

As many of you know, Hurricane Harvey is not our first rodeo. In the wake of Hurricane Ike and in the aftermath of the 2016 Tax Day Floods, our volunteers, staff and members worked hard ensuring resources were secured and families were supported.

We know that the impact of Hurricane Harvey, as it continues to unfold, will not cease after the national attention turns elsewhere. That’s why we are asking you to join us to support the Harvey Community Relief Fund. Together we can make the forecast for Houston better than the one we see on our television screens.

Ginny Goldman
Harvey Community Relief Fund

Ginny Goldman chairs the Harvey Community Relief Fund. They are accepting donations on their website.