Epic flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Houston has grabbed most of the media attention this week. But the eye of storm made landfall and caused widespread devastation 125 miles south west, along the Texas coastline. In the city of Victoria, just 30 miles inland and directly in the path of the tempest, a non-denominational, Christian-based home for women who are breaking the cycle of incarceration and homelessness was so badly damaged that the residents had to be evacuated and could not return.
On Monday afternoon, Perpetual Help Home Inc. posted photos on its Facebook page showing downed fences and trees, flooded yards, buckled pavement and interior ceilings that had caved in. (facebook.com/PerpetualHelpHome/) Though the home was made uninhabitable, all of the residents are safe and have temporary housing.
"We will not be able to live in the main house at Perpetual until renovations are done; there is just too much interior damage with leaks," house manager Judith Williams posted. "It looked good at first inspection, but the water damage is worse than originally realized and continues to get worse since the rain has not stopped. It is beginning to sink in how much of an impact this will have."
Perpetual Home provides a safe environment where women at risk and in need can receive job and life skills training. Their situations vary: recent release from prison or jail, serious substance abuse problems, homelessness or domestic violence. Operating since 1995, the ministry has helped 1,586 women and claims a 96-percent success rate.
Perpetual Home will rebuild, promises founder and executive director Cheryl Miller, who also serves on the national board of directors of the Christian Community Development Association.
"We are hopeful," Miller says. "The women remain in great spirits. They are just ready to come home."
Anyone wishing to help can contact the ministry through its Facebook page or its website, perpetualhelphome.org/.
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