Katie Barnes, Emily Loker, Kirby Richardson, Amy Stewart, and Brian Wegner will work with SBP in Houston. Originally called St. Bernard Project, SBP began as a volunteer effort in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. In more than a decade since, SBP’s efforts have grown. It now responds to other major natural disasters across the United States, with the mission to shrink the time between disaster and recovery.
Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in August 2017. Sixty-nine people died as a direct result and thirty-nine indirect deaths have been attributed to the storm. A month after the storm, 60,000 individuals were still displaced because of Harvey. Hurricane Harvey became the costliest hurricane in recorded history, costing approximately $125 billion. Houston received the brunt of this destruction, while other cities up and down the Texas coast were also deeply impacted. SBP immediately responded to the disaster and has already assisted 82 homes in mucking and mold remediation. SBP has now begun rebuilding homes.
The Hope Fund is generously supporting the students by providing travel, lodging, and food costs. The students will spend the week in northeast Houston rebuilding the homes of impacted community members. Typically rebuilding efforts include the reinstallation of insulation, drywall, doors, trim, and refinishing homes. SBP’s trained site supervisors will teach valuable skills in construction to the team throughout the week. The students will also spend time learning more about Houston, Hurricane Harvey, and the social issues surrounding natural disasters.
Upon return, the students hope the share their experience with classmates, faculty, and the community to highlight their work and help inform others of the needs of individuals impacted by natural disasters.