Hurricane Harvey survivors spend Christmas at Motel 6 FILE

Jaime Almanzar, 54, and seven other members of his family were living in two Motel 6 rooms after Hurricane Harvey in December.

Nearly 10 months after Hurricane Harvey, two dozen Crossroads families are still staying in hotel rooms paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

But FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program is coming to an end, according to an announcement this week.

Hurricane Harvey survivors are working closely with disaster case managers to complete their long-term housing plans by the end of June.

The program, which provides short-term shelter to evacuees who cannot return to their homes, will expire June 30 after 308 days of support, with final checkout scheduled for July 1.

FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance check-ins

The current number of families temporarily staying in hotels paid for by FEMA after losing their home during Hurricane Harvey.

SOURCE: FEMA-HarveyTxNewsDesk

County Families currently checked in
Victoria 13
Calhoun 5
Refugio 3
Goliad 2
Jackson 1
DeWitt 0
Total: 24

FEMA confirmed Friday there are 13 Victoria households checked into hotels under the program.

Mark Longoria, president of the Victoria County Long-Term Recovery Group, said the organization wants to ensure these survivors aren’t left behind.

“We’ll do our best to get them completely recovered,” he said.

Survivors who need longer-term housing assistance, legal advice or crisis counseling should call 211.

Since Hurricane Harvey, people in 54,637 affected households have sheltered at hotels, including 24,690 who received more than two months of rental assistance. The cost to FEMA exceeds $410 million. FEMA previously extended the Transitional Sheltering Assistance checkout deadline seven times.

Longoria, who is an outreach pastor at Faith Family Church, said he’s thankful for the extensions: “If FEMA hadn’t extended this program, it would’ve left way too many families in need.”

According to the release, 816 recipients in Texas remain in hotels, but the vast majority have arranged a housing solution by July 1.

Further assistance may be available through sheltering and housing programs including the Texas General Land Office’s Partial Repair and Essential Power for Sheltering program, Disaster Assistance for Limited Home Repair and Direct Housing.

Longoria said Victoria County survivors can also visit with the long-term recovery group at its new office at 207 Glass St. from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or call 361-703-5567.

“We can’t promise that it will be immediately, but we will get to everyone,” he said.

Laura Garcia reports on health and nonprofits for the Victoria Advocate. She may be reached at lgarcia@vicad.com or 361-580-6585.

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Features Editor

Laura has covered health and nonprofits in the Crossroads since 2014. She's also mom to a toddler, loves journalism conferences and is a big fan of sci-fi and crime TV.

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