United Church of Christ

Disaster Recovery - Port Arthur, Texas

Contact: UCC Disaster Ministries

The Disaster Event:

In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing torrential rains and devastating flooding to Texas, leaving 900,000 people in need. Among those hit hardest - renters in already economically precarious Port Arthur.

The Southeast Texas Community Development Corporation (SETCDC) has provided low-income housing for more than 30 years, but now is facing tremendous difficulties related to property repair, since Hurricane Harvey flooded 17 of SETCDC's 19 units with two feet of water. As a result, the residents - who were already struggling to secure basic needs and services - were displaced, and much of their personal property was destroyed.

PA_volunteers_sized.jpgBy providing SETCDC with the resources necessary for an adequate repair/rebuild, UCC Disaster Ministries hopes to empower the corporation and tenants and build long-term relationships of care and support for the community.


Volunteers are helping to repair homes for low income renters who were displaced by the floods. Work may include but will not be limited to light carpentry, drywall, insulation, flooring, trim and painting.

Educational/Advocacy Components:

• Preparation for the trip: "Mission Trips That Matter" by Don C. Richter, Upper Room Books
• On-Site Reflection: "Meeting God in the Ruins: Devotions for Disaster Volunteers." Free copies may be ordered from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by calling 800.638.3522 ext. 2580 (ISBN 6-0001-6788-1); pay shipping only.
• Follow-Up Action: Help your local community prepare for possible disaster and response. Be sure your congregation has a plan in case of local disaster (see http://www.ucc.org/disaster_resources). Get to know your UCC Conference Disaster Coordinator and stay involved.

Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in a large, newly renovated house located in Beaumont, Texas. The home is equipped with central air, wifi and common areas. Beds and/or cots and kitchen access provided. Groups bring own bedding and prepare own meals. Volunteers will be expected to share shower and bathroom facilities. Note: there is only one bathroom.

Cost: Lodging is free; volunteers are responsible for their own meals. The volunteer house has a full kitchen that can be used by groups. Additionally, there is a large variety of restaurants within a short drive.

Minimum Age: 16 With Parental Consent Form

Group Size: 12 Maximum

Adult to Youth Ratio: Each group must include a minimum ratio of at least 1 adult to every 4 youth of each gender.

Tools: Fully stocked tool trailers will be on site for use by volunteer groups. Volunteers are welcome to bring personal tools if they so choose.

Other Information:

Arrive Sunday afternoon and depart Saturday morning. Work: Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Volunteers receive a free UCC Disaster Ministries t-shirt.

Your donations to UCC One Great Hour of Sharing® help make this recovery possible.

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