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Harris County
Press Release
Friday, August 24, 2018

Salvation Army of Greater HoustonHOUSTON, TX — One year after Hurricane Harvey, The Salvation Army of Greater Houston continues to support the recovery of individuals and families affected by the storm. As one of the first local social service organizations with boots on the ground when Harvey made landfall, Salvation Army Houston is applying lessons learned on the front lines of the relief effort to restructure its operations and prepare for future disasters.  

“The Salvation Army of Greater Houston has served the community with hot meals, financial assistance, temporary housing, emotional support and more in the year since Hurricane Harvey,” said Major Kent Davis, area commander of Salvation Army Houston. “I am proud of the immediate and long-term support our organization has been able to provide to neighbors in need, and am grateful for the lessons the storm taught us about response and relief efforts. We have established more responsive protocols and have restructured our disaster relief program so that it will be a resource to other organizations." 

With disaster relief as a core social service offering, Salvation Army Houston was uniquely prepared to immediately assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Before Harvey made landfall, teams from across the southern United States were traveling to the Houston area while the local team prepared for disaster relief. In the hours and days following the storm, The Salvation Army deployed 103 mobile kitchens, or canteens, which distributed nearly one million meals, drinks and snacks to first responders and residents of the hardest-hit neighborhoods. The Salvation Army passed out more than 15,000 cleanup kits and 92,000 comfort and hygiene kits to displaced individuals and families. Officers and volunteers from around the country also provided emotional and spiritual care to nearly 59,000 individuals. The Salvation Army raised $30 million from individuals and companies across the country, and the local organization was able to immediately allocate $12 million to emergency response operations. Salvation Army Houston employees and volunteers donated more than 140,000 hours of service in the storm’s immediate aftermath. 

One year after the storm, Salvation Army Houston continues to aid those in need throughout Houston and in other affected cities with the remaining $18 million of the funds raised. Salvation Army Houston caseworkers meet daily with Harvey survivors, setting achievable goals and plotting a course of recovery towards a “new normal” for the many people still displaced. Eight Salvation Army sites in the Houston area continue to provide food, water and personal hygiene items to more than 30,000 families affected by the storm. The organization also established partnerships with companies to provide furniture, household items and home repair materials to those whose houses were damaged in the floods.  

Salvation Army Houston is applying lessons learned from Hurricane Harvey relief efforts as it prepares for future natural disasters. Currently, the organization is working with Harris County and the City of Houston to revise county and city plans that includes clearer roles, efficient disaster protocols and available resources for every disaster relief organization in the area. 

“From first responders to volunteers, disaster case managers to funders, the collaborative spirit across organizations and neighbors has been both inspiring and essential,” said Melanie Pang, manager of Emergency Services for Salvation Army Houston. “The relationships formed during this storm will be what gets us through the next disaster, and The Salvation Army will continue to remain ready to serve.” 


In this community since 1889, The Salvation Army Greater Houston Area Command serves Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend Counties through youth programs, homeless shelters, disaster relief, social services and senior programs. The mission of The Salvation Army Greater Houston Area Command is to meet human needs without discrimination. Nationally, The Salvation Army assists nearly 30 million Americans each year across 5,000 communities. The Salvation Army of Greater Houston is a United Way agency. 

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