All Kinds of News for October 04, 2017
Amid the worst natural disaster in US history, Hurricane Harvey, the Fulshear women, staff, therapists, transition specialists, and administrators have displayed incredible levels of human spirit. The days during Hurricane Harvey were both challenging and empowering. We are proud of our clients, in awe of our employees, and grateful for the love and support we have received.
DURING THE STORM
at the Ranch
As the storm came in on the evening of Friday, August 25th, the women at the ranch were moved to the Admin and Sunroom building where they were on higher ground and had access to everything they needed. There was some water buildup around the cottages, but each cottage is elevated and they did not flood. The ranch was not in an evacuation zone and the girls were safe with ample food and supplies.
The women and staff were impressive. Roads were unsafe throughout the city and staff were unable to come in for their shifts. Our Friday residential staff stayed with the women for days and ensured their needs were met. During the storm, the women went a little "stir crazy" but morale was high. Staff reported that it was an incredible bonding experience.
The barn became its own island and the horses stayed high and dry. The barn managers continued to take excellent care of the horses and made sure they were calm and comfortable during the storm.
AT THE APARTMENTS
The women in the apartments were able to stay in their homes safe and sound. During downpours of rain, the apartment parking lot would flood, but drained quickly when the rain lightened. The women were at times bored, but also enjoyed the down time and used it to bond with their communities. They were helpful and supportive to one another. They took turns cooking for each other and watching movies to pass the time. Like the women in the ranch, they were safe with plenty of food, water and supplies.
After the storm
While the roads were unsafe, programming was paused to protect our employees. As the rain stopped, the women from both the ranch and the apartments began volunteering alongside our staff, therapists, and transition specialists. They spent days pouring their hearts into the rescue work they were doing at shelters and donation centers. For a number of days, the Fulshear women were providing comfort and safety to families who have lost everything in the storm. It has been a moving and sobering experience for all of us. Witnessing the flood damage near the Brazos River firsthand was a particularly powerful event. The women have expressed a desire and commitment to continue volunteering and assisting those in need.
We feel incredibly fortunate that both the ranch and the apartment locations were largely undamaged in the storm. The ranch did incur minor roof damage. Regardless, the women at the ranch were able to move back into their cottages once the rain stopped.
In spite of continued closures and abnormalities that continued to plague our Houston community, the women remained safe with their needs being met. We express our tremendous gratitude for the many Fulshear employees who worked tirelessly to provide safety and comfort for our clients. Our staff made sacrifices to be away from their families and friends during this tragedy to be with the women. Aaron Duke and Mike Otufangavalu made two trips through the storm to drop off supplies at the ranch and the apartments. Our nurse Erica Sitka and our Executive Director Nikki Preece worked night and day to ensure medication needs were being met. Because our regular pharmacy was unable to deliver to us, Nikki and Erica worked with our InnerChange office and many others to find a pharmacy that would guarantee delivery. They found a pharmacy that would deliver to College Station, and Allyson Smith made the road trip to pick them up. We had so many people ready and willing to drive 20 hours or more to bring us medication if it came to it. We are all experiencing heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received from our families, colleagues, and the community —both national and international— through this difficult experience.
Unfortunately, many of our staff and their families have experienced losses associated with Hurricane Harvey. A number have been displaced and lost everything, while many others have significant damage. We are immensely grateful for the food, water, clothing, blankets, cleaning supplies, and hygiene products we have received.
Now that the immediate needs of our employees had been met, we recognized that they will need monetary donations to begin rebuilding. We are determined to take care of our Fulshear family. To do so, we set up a GoFundMe account to support our employees. At this point, we have raised over $30,000 to help support our employees and their families in their continued effort to rebuild and get through this.
About Fulshear Treatment to Transition
Fulshear Treatment to Transition, in Needville, Texas and Stafford, Texas just outside of Houston, Texas. is a long term treatment to transition program working with young adult women ages 18-25 struggling with mental health issues along with accompanying co-occuring disorders.