HEREFORD, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Several volunteer organizations opened up a resource center Tuesday in Hereford to help people impacted by recent flooding. Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster Serving the Texas Panhandle hosted a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) this week to support individuals and families impacted by recent flooding in the San Jose community of Hereford.
The Texas Panhandle VOAD said this center will provide people with a one-stop access point to resources.
Chairperson for the Texas Panhandle VOAD Janell Menahem said they cover the top 26 counties in the Texas Panhandle.
“So when things happen, such as what has happened in the San Jose community here in Hereford, we try to get all of our resources together and bring them to them since they often times lost transportation, housing, utilities, so forth, and so on. So by us doing what we are doing here today, we are bringing it to them and giving them a central location,” said Menahem.
Menahem added those involved in the flood will be able to get assistance covering a wide array of things to help folks get back on their feet.
“They will be able to get assistance with housing if they are needing that, utility assistance, make sure their bills are being held or turned off until we can get them back in their homes, they will get information on clean up and when we start that process as well as financial assistance and replacement of household goods, that has been lost with the flooding. If they are needing clothing, hygiene items, or baby items. We have all of that here today. We also have a gracious donation from the High Plains Food Bank, they will be receiving a disaster food box of nonperishable foods they will be taking with them, cases of water. We have people here to help them replace any documents that might have got lost in the floods, just all the devastation that happens without notice, you lose everything,” said Menahem.
Menahem details how the MARC process works:
“When they come in, they are going to meet with the Red Cross and make sure we have done an assessment through them on the needs of their housing as well as the people in their home, then they have a resource fair of sort, they can pick and choose where they want to go and what needs need to be met and they are set up throughout the gym, while they are here because we can only see one family at a time, we have toys for the kids to play, we have snacks for them. The Salvation Army has graciously donated a hot meal, they are going to be serving a hot meal at 11 AM and 5 PM today, so they will be able to stay here and eat. Panhandle Community Services is providing transportation to those who don’t have transportation anymore… They’re going to be given a resource list on how to follow up with each one of these organizations after they leave here today because there are going to be some things they are going to need to follow up on and we want to stay in contact with them as long term goes on,” said Menahem.
Menahem said they are also going to finish assessments and determine what help is needed in the area in the next few months.
Menahem added right now they don’t have an official number of people affected. Menahem said they have been told that several families have gone to stay with friends and families that were outside of the flood area and said that three families are put up elsewhere throughout the county. Menahem added that everyone is sheltered and everyone is taken care of and their needs are being met.
One of those looking for aid at the resource center was Olegario Leon, whose home and vehicles were flooded with three feet of water
“They offered us a HUD, a HUD home. I think we will go from there, I guess and see if we can fix the house,” said Leon.
Another person seeking assistance at Tuesday’s MARC was Isabell Garcia.
“We’re left without a home right now, so we have to go back and clean. We are left without transportation because we lost six cars. We are just waiting for the water to go down so the tow companies can come in and pull them out, so yeah,” said Garcia.
Garcia added she’s thankful for all the help, but she doesn’t know what the future looks like.
“Everything is moving really fast. We just feel like we are stuck, ’cause it feels like it’s going to take a long time, a while to get back to normal,” said Garcia.
Menahem said by having the MARC they hope to get a full assessment of how many were affected and how many homes were damaged. She added the Red Cross has been out doing assessments since the event last Saturday and she said they have a tentative number, but added there are still homes they can not get to.
The MARC will be opened again on June 7th from 10 AM to 6 PM at the First Baptist Church Gym on 501 Sampson Street in Hereford.
According to Texas Panhandle VOAD, donations are being accepted locally at the Hereford Federal Credit Union at 330 Schley Ave in Hereford, Texas to support the community impacted by recent flooding. More information about monetary donations is available at (806) 364-1888. For details on all other donations, contact Janell Menahem at email@example.com or (806) 316-6204.