KATY, HARRIS COUNTY (Covering Katy News) - Cende Holmes was knocked out of her Katy home for exactly 866 days following Hurricane Harvey. Only recently was she able to return home with the help of the nonprofit organization Katy Responds.
The neighborhood where she lives took on two feet of water. After exhausting all means to have the home mucked and gutted and repaired, it sat for more than a year, clothes still hanging in the closets.
In May of 2019, Katy Responds learned of Holmes' situation. In October of 2019, the nonprofit organization began restoration work on her home.
"Katy Responds is here to do just that," Tom Pretti, co-founder of Katy Responds said. "We are here to respond to the needs of the Katy community. Ms. Holmes lived alone and was well past retirement age. She needed the help of the community that she had lived in for so long. We were so happy to be able to help."
When asked why it took so many months to start work, Pretti's face reflected his struggle.
"As a nonprofit, Katy Responds is not eligible for the billions of dollars of government funds set aside by the city for Harvey restoration, Pretti said. "We rely solely on the gifts of donors, grants we can find and the volunteers in the community. We won't start a project until we are sure we can see it through to completion."
"I am surrounded by angels," Holmes said in a tear-filled voice. "My heart is overflowing. No words can express my gratitude for all that was done to move me home again."
Katy Responds was born following the realization that it was going to be a long term recovery from Harvey. Founders knew that there would be many people who would not be able to restore their lives for years after the historic flooding event.
Katy Responds is headquartered in the heart of Old Katy off of Avenue D.
"We will be here when that last family moves home," Pretti says with conviction. "We are here for the Katy community."
Visit katyresponds.org to see how you can volunteer your time, your talent, or your treasure to help Katy Responds continue to welcome families home.
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