A network of local churches, a national recovery organization and thousands of volunteers from around the country are planning a two-week rebuilding effort in Galveston County in March.
The 4B Disaster Response Network and Eight Days of Hope, a Christian nonprofit focused on disaster recovery, this week announced a 14-day home rebuilding effort that will run from March 10 to March 24.
The effort will take place around the Houston area, but the majority of the volunteers will be working in Galveston County, said Ben Baldwin, executive director of the 4B Disaster Network, a coalition of county and regional churches.
“Right after the storm, like a lot of organizations, churches found themselves sending people out to clean their homes and we knew there were going to be a lot of people needing help rebuilding,” Baldwin said.
As such, a coalition of churches founded the 4B Disaster Network and partnered with Eight Days of Hope to plan a rebuilding volunteer event, Baldwin said.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Eight Days of Hope planned an event with about 2,500 volunteers from around the country, including skilled electricians and other trades, to help people in Mississippi and Louisiana rebuild their homes, Baldwin said. The groups repeated those efforts after other natural disasters, he said.
Hurricane Harvey battered so much of the coast and since the needs are so widespread, the organizations decided to double the time and number of volunteers for the March event, Baldwin said. The groups estimate they will be able to rebuild about 1,000 homes with the help of 5,000 volunteers, he said.
Baldwin encouraged residents with damaged homes to put in a request to rebuild at www.4bresponse.org. The groups are considering all applicants, but prioritizing those with the most need, including seniors and disabled people, Baldwin said.
“We take all requests, but we can’t make any guarantees,” Baldwin said. “We will promise to make our best effort to meet every need that’s out there.”
Volunteers will be helping with all parts of rebuilding, including hanging drywall, electrical rewiring and laying floors, he said.