Yesterday it rained, and today it’s a bit chillier than we might normally expect for the last days of August. However, there’s no doubt that where Virginia’s weather is concerned, we all have a lot to be thankful for–especially in light of the continuing devastation wreaked this week on Houston and many surrounding areas in Texas.
Tropical Storm Harvey has been devastating the fourth largest city in the United States for almost a week now. According to the latest reports, it has now made landfall for the second time, striking southwest Louisiana earlier this morning. The destruction the area has seen already rivals that of the infamous Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and with rain expected to continue in the Houston area until at least Friday, it has most likely still not reached its full extent. Speaking at a news conference, Houston mayor Sylvester Turner said that the city will continue to focus on rescue for the time being. Damage assessment and recovery are still well in the future.
At a time like this, the LGBTQ community in the Houston area has a particular need for assistance. In an attempt to fill that need, The Montrose Center, a Houston LGBTQ counseling and community center established in 1978, has set up an online fundraising page to help them give aid to those members of the LGBTQ community displaced by Harvey and its aftermath.
At this point, the campaign has been active for only two days and has already raised 68 percent of its $250,000 goal. However, the need for donations is no less urgent, especially with the weather continuing to worsen in Houston, and the damage continuing to grow. “With more than 35,000 clients in core programs, we are already learning of staff and community members who have lost everything,” the fundraising page states. “The LGBTQ Disaster Relief Fund will be used to help individuals and families begin to rebuild their lives through counseling, case management, direct assistance with shelf stable food, furniture, housing and more. The Center’s dedicated case management team is on call to help homeless youth, seniors, people living with HIV, hate crime survivors, and those devastated by the storm.”
This is a mission worth supporting, and we here at GayRVA call on our local LGBTQ community members with the means to help out to contribute to The Montrose Center’s campaign by clicking here: Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund, by The Montrose Center. Opportunities to volunteer are also available–click here to learn more. Let’s take action for those within the community who need our support now more than ever.