Helping families heal after Hurricane Harvey

United States

September 15, 2017

Share this story:
  • linkedin
  • Mercy Corps staff look at maps in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. PHOTO: Mercy Corps Staff

This statement was originally published on September 15, 2017. It has been updated on September 21, 2017 to reflect the latest information.


The high winds have subsided and the flooding is receding, but Hurricane Harvey has left thousands of desperate and in-need families in Texas and along the Gulf Coast in its wake.

Mercy Corps is proudly supporting several organizations helping communities in Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey. We are primarily focused on helping organizations with a deep history in the Houston area working with vulnerable, at-risk and under-served populations. With Mercy Corps’ support, these organizations are distributing pre-paid Mastercard debit cards so that families can purchase what they need most, as well as transit passes to help people return to work and daily life.

We will also provide capacity support, as needed, to help our local partners be successful in their ongoing efforts. Our local partners include:

  • ECHOS runs health screenings, benefits access programs (Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, Children’s Health Insurance Program Perinatal, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and food stamps), mobile healthcare clinics, computer literacy education, ESL classes and food distributions for immigrant and refugee families in southwest Houston. In response to Harvey, ECHOS is distributing donated items including diapers, formula, food and cleaning supplies, as well as helping people apply for FEMA support.
  • FIEL Houston runs education and civic engagement programs across the city and provides services for immigrants. In response to Harvey, FIEL is assessing needs and ensuring that immigrant families know their rights, especially those who are renting homes or apartments.
  • Higher Ground CDC supports at-risk families and senior citizens in east Houston. On an ongoing basis, the organization conducts feeding programs, toy drives, back-to-school supply distributions, health fairs and community festivals. Higher Ground is conducting needs assessments following Harvey and helping people access FEMA assistance, if necessary.

Mercy Corps is also supporting U.S. disaster response organization Team Rubicon. After conducting more than 50 floodwater rescues, hundreds of Team Rubicon veteran and civilian volunteers are now helping with clean-up efforts in several Texas communities. Team Rubicon is managing a crisis cleanup hotline where residents can request assistance, and volunteers are conducting ongoing damage assessments to identify unmet needs.

While our work takes place overseas, in the most extreme cases, such as after Hurricane Katrina, we respond to disasters in the United States.

Over the last few weeks, natural disasters including hurricanes, flooding, landslides and an earthquake have impacted millions of families from Texas to Mexico to the Caribbean to southeast Asia. As families rebuild and recover in the aftermath of these devastating disasters, Mercy Corps is supporting relief efforts in both the United States and internationally.

Our readiness to respond to disasters like these and help strengthen communities for the long term is thanks to the generosity of supporters like you. To support our work now and for the future, please consider making a gift to our Humanitarian Response Fund.