As the recovery from Hurricane Harvey churns along, a federal agency has set up semi-permanent headquarters for local residents to seek help in rebuilding after the storm.
On Friday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency officially opened the doors of the only Disaster Recovery Center located, so far, in Galveston County.
The center is in an activity room near the League City City Pool at 450 W. Walker St.
“We have large enough places to set them up,” League City Mayor Pat Hallisey said.
The center is meant to provide victims of Harvey’s destruction in-person resources to help with recovery efforts and answer questions. The center includes staff from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration, a separate agency that provides low-interest loans to businesses, renters and nonprofits.
The center allows people to seek guidance from personnel about government recovery programs and clarify written materials they might have already received from the agency.
The center began operating Thursday afternoon and was at full service by Friday morning. Around 10 a.m., more than a dozen people were being served or waiting for help inside the center.
“I finally feel like I’m getting my life back,” said Howard Alexander, a Dickinson resident, who was leaving the center Friday morning. “I’ve been doing most of it over the phone. I came here because I had to go through the SBA, because I lost almost everything.”
By 3:30 p.m. Friday, the center had served 130 households, said William Rukeyser, a FEMA spokesman. He expected that more people would begin going to the center as people learn about it.
There is no set date for when the center would shut down, Rukeyser said. The hours of the center — which is open 12 hours a days, 7 days a week — might be adjusted as fewer people arrive to use it.
“We don’t want to waste resources,” Rukeyser said.