Volunteers help in Bloomington (copy)

Noah Schuiz, 19, of Wildberg, Germany, and Alex Tweardy, 22, of Millersville, Pa., work in March on the roof of a house in Bloomington.

The Victoria County Long-Term Recovery Group will host a neighborhood meeting for Bloomington, Placedo and DaCosta residents still struggling with damages caused by Hurricane Harvey. The come-and-go meeting is 6-8 p.m. Thursday in the Legacy Room at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Bloomington.

With partner organizations, including GrantWorks, St. Vincent de Paul, Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response and the General Land Office, the group will provide information about available disaster-related assistance for homeowners and renters.

“I hope people come by, listen and learn more, and we will be there to answer questions they have,” said Theresa Martinez, disaster case manager for the Long-Term Recovery Group. “We encourage renters to go, too, so we can refer them to programs and see what help is out there for them.”

At a similar neighborhood meeting July 11 in Victoria, the organizations screened about a dozen attendees in need of home repairs and followed up with them afterward. Martinez said she helped a homeowner who had fallen through the cracks to secure much-needed help. The hurricane had destroyed the woman’s air conditioner and caused the foundation of her house to shift to the extent that rain was coming through her windows.

Other attendees learned about help available to them for various needs ranging from replacing damaged appliances and roofs to the potential to replace their homes entirely with new ones in the Hope Meadows subdivision.

Hope Meadows subdivision in Bloomington is accepting applications from residents who owned their homes with clear deed and title when Hurricane Harvey struck. Forty homes are being built with three floor plans: three bedroom/two bathroom, three bedroom/one bathroom and two bedroom/one bathroom.

“The good news is that Disaster Aid Ohio is starting construction on the homes in August and those eligible for Hope Meadows can be in their brand-new homes before Thanksgiving and some before Christmas,” said Rick Villa, development director for the Long-Term Recovery Group. “All of this bad news for nearly two years and now, if you qualify, you can have a brand-new house.”

At the meeting, community members can ask questions, fill out the basic one-page intake form and pick up literature. Bilingual representatives will be on hand to provide assistance.

“We hear so much about families and individuals still needing mold remediation, appliances, exterior repairs, and we have so much in the warehouse – pallets of roof shingles, Sheetrock, flooring, paint, furniture, mattresses,” Villa said. “So, really, the meeting is to inform the public and spread the word.”

Elena Anita Watts covers arts, culture and entertainment for the Victoria Advocate. 

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