ALVIN, Texas - Help is pouring in from across Brazoria County and beyond for a disabled veteran in Alvin stuck living in dangerous conditions since Hurricane Harvey.
KHOU first introduced you to Elmer Branch Wednesday as part of its Harvey Forgotten series. His home was never cleaned out or gutted after the storm.
“I’m going, ‘How in the world did we miss this a year later?” said Jill Rea, founder and president of Archangels of Texas, an Alvin-based nonprofit that typically helps the homeless.
Rea said her friend posted KHOU’s story about 71-year-old Branch’s dire situation. Nearly a year after Harvey, Branch’s Alvin home still has holes, dilapidated floors, roof damage and mold everywhere.
“We thought we had everybody covered as far as Harvey, but we missed it somehow,” Rea said. “I was very upset about this.”
Rea re-posted the story online, and her community stepped up, offering food, building materials and everything in between.
Community members say they’re overwhelmed by all the help. Volunteers say they’ve gotten offers to help from several people, organizations and branches of military.
“It’s been incredible, absolutely incredible,” Rea said. “I haven’t seen anything like this since Harvey.”
Rea visited Branch at his home Thursday and offered to move the Army veteran and his three dogs into temporary lodging.
“I just asked him,” Rea said. “I said, ‘This is what we want to do.’ I said, ‘Everybody wants to come in, and they all wanna help rebuild your home, but you obviously can’t be here when they’re trying to do that, so we need to put you somewhere else.’”
Branch chose a motel near his house.
“I was aware of it, and it’s easy-in, easy-out, and it’s pretty quiet,” Branch said Friday. “I’d say it’s considerably better.”
Rea says now she’s focused on the 71-year-old’s immediate needs, like keeping a roof over his head and adding a ramp to his new room.
“Quite frankly, yes, we do need help paying that bill for him to stay,” Rea said.
Branch says he’s grateful and had a message for everyone who helped.
“Thank you,” he said.
Rea says they’re also looking for people to walk Branch’s dogs and visit him. She says anyone wanting to help can visit the Archangels of Texas website.
In the meantime, Rea says she’s working with a contractor to figure out what’s next and is hoping to have a city inspector look at Branch’s home once their office reopens Monday.