Harvey victims' home received 7 feet of water, but they were denied assistance from Red Cross

Some Harvey flood victims are trying to understand why they have not yet received financial assistance from the American Red Cross.

HUMBLE, Texas - Many Hurricane Harvey flood victims reached out to KHOU 11 saying they were denied financial assistance by the American Red Cross. One local family, who received 7 feet of water inside their home during the storm, is trying to understand why.

Harvey's stink still permeates through Melanie Roses's home and every family member wishes things could go back to normal.

"I feel really sad because I really loved my room," said Melanie's young daughter, Lauren.

Almost a month ago, Melanie and Lauren said goodbye to the house they called home. A few hours later, floodwaters nearly covered the entire home.

"The water raised all the windows, they're full of water now, all my windows need to be replaced," said Melanie.

Now the house is gutted, empty and unlivable. Melanie turned to the American Red Cross and applied for financial help.

"I got a response yesterday by text message saying that we were not approved," said Melanie.

That text broke Melanie's heart all over again.

"I was upset, it hurt my feelings because we don't qualify, really?" said Melanie. "We lost everything."

The text didn't specify why she was denied. Melanie was even more baffled when her sister who lives one street down was approved to receive money.

"She called me today and said 'I was approved today,'" said Melanie. "She got four feet of water, I got seven feet of water. I don't know what rhyme or reason is then. It's the same neighborhood. Same affected area."

And Melanie isn't alone. So many of you called and emailed the KHOU 11 newsroom with your own stories of loss and Red Cross text message denials.

The Red Cross says it's working through some glitches, but wouldn't elaborate on specifics.

"If they send me an email that said there are people who are in more need than you, I'd be fine with that," said Melanie.

But what's upsetting Melanie is the Red Cross' silence. She says families deserve an explanation why they don't qualify after losing their home.

"I feel we've lost so much, and so have a lot of people, and I just wanted to know why," said Melanie.

A Red Cross spokeswoman says each individual case varies and that families can appeal the decision. But the appeal process is simply clicking an appeal button line. No new information needs to be inputted. 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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