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More than three years after Hurricane Harvey, 13 more families are going home in Texas

May 18, 2021

As MDS closed its Hurricane Harvey response in communities throughout the coastal bend of Texas, the last ten homes were dedicated in the Tierra de Esperanza, or “Land of Hope,” Project in Woodsboro.

On May 20, MDS volunteers joined representatives from the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group and many other partner organizations as the last ten families received their keys in the second phase of a housing development built by volunteers from MDS and Disaster Aid Ohio.

The Woodsboro community was devastated by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The 3.6-acre neighborhood, located about 40 miles/64 kilometers north of Corpus Christi, is valued at $2.3 million U.S./$2.8 million CDN. In March, the first 13 families moved into new homes.

Donna Rosson, president of the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group, said that MDS and other groups have helped Hurricane Harvey survivors become even more resilient to future storms. “The homes are very well-built, and the volunteers are actual artisans when it comes to masonry and carpentry,” she said. “So these homes are not going anywhere for the next hurricane or heavy winds that we have.”

MDS Executive Director Kevin King thanked not only the hundreds of volunteers who helped build homes in Tierra de Esperanza but also the thousands of volunteers who helped clean up, repair or rebuild homes across the wide swatch of damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

“The sense of hope shared by hurricane survivors and volunteers is an amazing testimony to what happens when we genuinely care for one another,” said King. “Long-term recovery often doesn’t make news headlines but it makes a profound difference in the future of a community.”

Tom Smucker, MDS Hurricane Harvey coordinator, said that Tierra de Esperanza is a great example of how MDS works in a spirit of compassionate collaboration with its partner agencies.

“MDS volunteers have helped to rebuild not only individual lives, but communities,” he said. “The community building process was much more difficult, coordinating with more partner groups and working through the logistics of local governments—but the rewards are a very long-term sense of hope—and homes.”

In addition to MDS, Disaster Aid Ohio, and the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group, the project was also supported by Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi Inc., Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Rebuild Texas, Refugio County Community Development Foundation, and the Town of Woodsboro.