By LYNN SHIGEKAWA
A Disaster Assistance Workshop was held in Manvel for residents offering a one-stop shop type of resource for their needs. The partnership between Representative Ed Thompson’s and Congressman Pete Olson’s offices worked in conjunction with the City of Manvel.
Both elected officials were not present as the focus was on the agencies providing assistance for both Federal and State. Both FEMA and the Office of the Attorney General did address constituents in a town hall setting to cover application process and how to avoid scams.
The following resources were provided by Federal and State offices: FEMA, SBA, Office of Attorney General, Texas Workforce Commission/Workforce Solutions, Counseling Connections for Change, Samaritan’s Purse, and Pyramids Pharmaceuticals. Martinez Mexican Restaurant donated food to the event when they heard of the efforts taking place.
According to Liz Sitta, district director for State Representative Ed Thompson, “Due to privacy issues, no photos were taken of constituents.”
Mayor Debra Davison attended the workshop and estimated that approximately 20 families signed in with FEMA and another 15 to 20 families came to talk with a specific entity that was represented.
According to Davison, “We offered an opportunity for our citizens to have one on one conversations with any of the groups listed below that might be of service. Before the event ‘kicked off’ Pastor Stewart Martin from The Church of the Harvest, our host, said a prayer to welcome us. I spoke of my appreciation for the groups that were represented and the importance to the City that our people had an opportunity to reach out within their own city to receive help.”
Davison added, “We are fortunate to have the support of Representative Ed Thompson’s and Congressman Pete Olsen’s local offices. Jeremy Bott with FEMA, representatives from the Office of the Attorney General, SBA and Texas Dept. of Insurance all spoke to let us know that they would be working for our city and individual citizens. Manvel City Manager, Kyle Jung, was present to answer any questions that might have arisen relating to drainage, debris or any local issues. Council member Jason Albert also came by to speak to people and represent our Manvel City Council.”
Agencies and organizations represented: FEMA; SBA (They made it clear that they are not only allowing filings from individuals as well as businesses); Office of The Attorney General (asking for reports of fraudulent activity); Texas Dept. of Insurance; Texas Work Force (missed pay); Pyramid Rx (helping victims get their prescriptions and replacing over the counter medications); Counseling Connection (offering 3 free sessions); and Samaritans Purse (Billy Graham formed to breakdown and build up disaster ridden homes at no cost).