• Philip Burn

As Power Restored in Houston, The Salvation Army Continues to Shine

Houston, Texas (May 23, 2024) – Salvation Army mobile kitchen teams continue to serve hot meals in storm-affected communities as power companies work to restore power across the city. Less than 50,000 residents remained without power as of Wednesday evening, since the rare Texas derecho struck Houston on May 16.

The Salvation Army, in cooperation with the American Red Cross, Texans on Mission (formerly Texas Baptist Men) and Southern Baptist Texas Convention, is coordinating feeding efforts across a large section of Southeast Texas. This includes areas around the cities of Cleveland and Livingston that have seen additional flooding since last week’s devastating rainfall and storms. Texas derechos are widespread storm systems featuring straight-line winds that occur with bands of rapidly moving thunderstorms.

Four mobile kitchens have been strategically assigned to serve Houston neighborhoods still without power. Teams of staff and volunteers from The Salvation Army Houston Area Command, Houston International Corps, Texarkana, and Conroe, joined by team members from CenterPoint Energy and Collective Strategic Resources, served 1,225 meals on Wednesday.

“As residents regain power across the city, community needs are constantly changing,” said Alvin Migues, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army in Texas. “In coordination with the City of Houston and partner agencies, The Salvation Army teams are concentrating our efforts to deliver hot meals to those still without power and dealing with the impact of flooding in their homes. For many, the meals we serve are the only hot food they have eaten since the storm struck last Thursday. We have also provided cleanup kits for those working to gut their flooded homes, and hygiene kits and food boxes where needed.”

Several downtown Houston roads remain closed due to debris and the risk of falling glass from damaged skyscrapers. To compound the loss of power for many, the area was expected to have potentially dangerous heat this weekend, with temperatures and humidity levels higher than normal for May, according to the National Weather Service.

“The Salvation Army relies on financial donations from the public and committed corporate partners, like CenterPoint Energy and Collective Strategic Resources who this week donated $100,000, to support ongoing disaster response efforts,” said Migues. “One hundred percent of all donations designated for disaster assistance supports the work taking place taking place on the streets of Houston this week. Your gifts make it possible for us to hand a meal to the person who is hungry, give a cleanup kit to the homeowner dealing with the grime and dirt left behind after the water has gone, and for our trained staff to take a moment to pray with and encourage those in crisis. Thank you for your support.”

Since service began after the storm, 6,963 meals have been served, 5,600 drinks, 7,397 snacks, 96 cleanup kits provided, 456 hygiene kits, 1,120 food boxes, 7,614 bags of ice, and 3,044 cases of water. Trained emotional and spiritual care staff have made 697 contacts.

On Thursday, The Salvation Army will be serving at the following locations beginning at approximately 12 noon until all food is served:

  • Haverstock Apartments, 5619 Aldin Bender Road, Houston
  • Coolwood Oak Apartments, 7777 Coolwood Drive, Houston & Galena Park Elementary
  • Monaville Fire Station #1, 13631 Cochran Road, Waller & Holbrook Elementary/Cole Creek Area
  • Iglesia Christiana Vision Divina, 15703 Market St., Channelview

As power is restored to more homes, The Salvation Army has received less feeding requests. Two final distributions are scheduled, on Thursday at 2600 Aldine Westfield Road and Friday, at 12507 Windfern Road, both from 10 AM-2 PM. Staff and volunteers will distribute more than 2,000 food boxes, 30 pallets of water and two truckloads of ice. It is anticipated that feeding operations will conclude by Saturday.

To make a donation to support The Salvation Army’s ongoing response efforts to Houston Severe Weather (May 2024) go to helpsalvationarmy.org. For more information on The Salvation Army’s current disaster response efforts go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.