The anxiety caused by Ike’s devastating impact is evident on the faces of San Leon community members.
March 19, 2009: The BPSOS-Houston Ike team made yet another trip to the community of San Leon on March 12, distributing vouchers and gift cards to help hurricane victims buy basic necessities and replace or repair appliances and furniture damaged by the storm. The latest trip follows up on a February 22 visit during which over 51 families received help with unmet needs related to Ike.
“We’re grateful to Pastor Bob Gibson and his congregation for allowing us to use the San Leon Community Church as a base,” said BPSOS case manager Jannette Diep. “That act of generosity has allowed us to continue our assessments and meet many needs in the San Leon community.”
Although the team interacted with many hurricane survivors on this trip, one story stands out. Staff members extended assistance to the family of Alex Ngo, who has been unemployed since September 2008 because of hurricane damage to his shrimp boat. Because of the immense cost of repairing the vessel, he currently is unable to fully repair it and has fallen behind on his bills.
Ngo’s troubles don’t end there, however; his wife has an illness that may hinder her attempts to obtain US citizenship. To begin to deal with these matters, BPSOS-Houston plans to assist Ngo with insurance claims that would lead to repairs to his damaged house. The office also plans to help out with his wife’s citizenship application process.
“It’s great to be able to lend a hand to Mr. Ngo, who just needs a boost to get back to his usual hard-working way of life,” said Diep. “We appreciate the support of the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, which is making these efforts possible.”
The team is working in other areas around Texas; a previous visit took them to Bridge City, where they distributed gift cards to those in need and rendered other services to over 40 families.
For information about the Ike team and meeting the unmet needs of hurricane survivors in the Vietnamese-American community and beyond, please call Houston branch manager Trish Nguyen at 281.530.6888.