Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Proud of Response by Houston and Texas

I live in Houston, Texas. Houston is providing food and shelter for 25,000 to 30,000 evacuees from the devastated New Orleans area. The residents of Houston and neighboring communities are volunteering in large numbers to help the evacuees. The response has been so great that some volunteers are being turned away. Donations have been pouring in at such a rapid pace that some of the reception points have had to stop taking donations because they have run out of storage space.

One individual effort deserves special mention. The last Houston Texans preseason game was last Thursday night. The owner of the Texans, Bob McNair, made a challenge grant of up to $1 million to match donations made during the game. The request for donations to aid the victims of Katrina was made several times during the game.

Houston is housing evacuees at the Astrodome (16,000), facilities near the Astrodome (4,000?), the convention center (4,000 and rising), and several smaller facilities around the area. The effort to provide shelter has been bipartisan. The Astrodome is a Harris County facility inside the city of Houston, which has jurisdiction for police and other services. Harris County's chief executive is a Republican, and Houston's mayor is a Democrat. They worked together to take care of the evacuees. The governor of Texas is a Republican, and he ordered state government agencies to act and schools to accept evacuee students. San Antonio, run by Democrats, is housing 25,000 evacuees. Dallas has 10,000 to 20,000. Corpus Christi, Amarillo, Lubbock, and other Texas cities have made facilities available for evacuees.

The overwhelming response by Houston and Texas makes me proud to live here.


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