Juanita Rubio, 39, has spent the past four months waiting.

Waiting for help to arrive.

It's been exactly 114 days since Hurricane Harvey ripped part of the roof from her south Victoria home, which she shared with her 76-year-old mother, 52-year-old brother, husband and four children.

Since then, the family of eight has been fortunate to crash in Rubio's sister's living room, just a half-block from their house that's still barricaded with two-by-fours.

Rubio's family has been in limbo for the past four months. Neither the Federal Emergency Management Agency nor her home insurance company has provided the financial help needed to repair an estimated $20,000 in damage yet, she said.

"It's just devastating," Rubio said. "It wasn't a new home, but it's still our home."

Rubio is among many residents of Texas Gulf Coast communities battered by Hurricane Harvey who have come to an uncomfortable realization: The help she hoped for may not come any time soon.

Across Texas, FEMA received 892,621 valid applications for assistance in Harvey's aftermath, of which nearly one-third were deemed "ineligible" for assistance, according to Thursday data from FEMA.

Another 47,268 household applications were on hold while they dealt with insurance issues, and 5,105 were pending for another reason.

Texans who received unfavorable determination letters from FEMA will be forced to navigate complicated processes to appeal - or find another way to rebuild.

Meanwhile, other families are dealing with similar problems from insurance companies, all while living in temporary housing in the form of hotels, relatives' living rooms and friends' couches.

"People will definitely fall into cracks," said Cathy Garcia, who works for St. Vincent de Paul and the Victoria County Long Term Recovery Group.

In Victoria, only 2,300 of 19,651 households that applied for assistance from FEMA qualified for the agency's housing assistance programs, which include rental assistance and cash for home repairs.

That data doesn't detail how much money each of those households received.

However, FEMA said five qualified for the maximum payout - about $33,000 - a figure that doesn't provide details for repair costs beyond that cap.

If people exhaust the help from FEMA or insurance companies, charities and social service groups are their next best hope.

In Victoria, the long-term recovery group is serving as the safety net for people who otherwise wouldn't get help.

Garcia serves as a case manager for the group, working directly with families to link them with charity programs and other resources.

In Harvey's aftermath, one of the biggest obstacles for people has been dealing with complicated procedures to appeal decisions made by insurance companies or FEMA, she said.

"They're not going to understand that FEMA paperwork," Garcia said. "All they're going to understand is the word 'denial.'"

A family might be deemed ineligible for a simple reason such as missing proof of ownership or insurance policy information, she said.

But FEMA's determination letter and the processes to appeal claims can be difficult to understand, she said.

For one, some people don't know they can appeal, she said.

Others don't know that FEMA may require Texans to submit documents showing how much damage their insurance companies will cover.

They also must fill out paperwork for a low-interest housing recovery loan from the Small Business Administration.

"FEMA's paperwork is not very clear at all," she said. "And the (process) is not understood by the common person."

In Victoria, housing advocates and nonprofit leaders haven't received data to show how many local residents FEMA has deemed ineligible or how many homeowners are still waiting on insurance companies.

They do know, however, that thousands of people are asking for help.

Dolly Stokes, one of the leaders of Victoria's long-term recovery group, said the group received more than 2,000 calls asking for assistance of some kind.

Now, the group's caseworkers are undertaking the lengthy process of reaching out to every name on that list, she said.

"It's just going to be a long process," said Stokes, the executive director of Victoria County United Way.

That situation is all too familiar for Rubio, who hasn't spent a night in her home since late August.

The home where she grew up with her eight siblings decades ago is now an empty shell. Walls and ceilings that haven't been ripped out are peeling apart.

The only personal belongings left are the occasional crucifix and a ceramic sign above the kitchen door that reads "Bless this home."

Rubio said her insurance company agreed to cover about $12,000 in repairs, but that won't be enough to replace the walls, roof, floors and foundation that warped in the storm's aftermath.

She hasn't received that money yet.

Although the repairs are expected to cost more than half the home's value, Rubio has promised her family they will rebuild - sooner or later.

Despite the damage, Rubio still sweeps the water-warped floors while she explains how much the wooden structure means to her family.

"I just get very emotional; I'm sorry," she said.

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Marina writes about housing, Hurricane Harvey recovery and local politics for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach Marina by emailing mriker@vicad.com or follow her on Twitter, @MarinaStarleaf.

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