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Three weeks later, many still need help with winter storm damage

If you’re still in need of help, applications for the $12.7 million relief fund opened this week.

HOUSTON — Three weeks after the winter storm, Houston-area homeowners are still needing a lot of help.

Daniel Brizendine and his family haven’t lived at home since it happened.

“It's heartbreaking, because we have two small girls, and our 2-year-old wants to come home, but it’s a full disaster," Brizendine said.

Seven pipes burst in the home during the freeze. The ceiling collapsed in the kitchen and bathroom.

“People are still suffering. There’s still repercussions for everything with all this," Brizendine said.

Thankfully, with the help of the nonprofit 4B Disaster Response Network, the home was getting a full pipe replacement Friday.

Operations Manager Ted Tompkins said they’ve repaired 70 homes already and have at least 40 more to go. He said some people are still living in dire situations after their ceilings collapsed.

“They don’t have the ability to fix that or clean that up, and so they just walk over, and now you have mold that’s starting to build up on the walls and the studs," Tompkins said.

Volunteers like Brad Smith are coming in from out of town, and others are from out of state.

“I have the flexibility at my day job to get loose and do this a couple of times a year, and I like helping people," Smith said.

Down the road at Gallery Furniture, Melissa Thomas got a huge surprise Friday.

“Two bedroom sets, mattresses, living room set, tables and some accessories, how's that sound?" Mattress Mack said to her.

Mattress Mack is replacing so much of her furniture that was destroyed. We covered her story and gave her information to Mack in case he could help.

“I was told I was coming in for a contest, and I've been praying and praying. I’m just so overwhelmed. I'm so excited," Thomas said.

But if you’re still in need of help, applications for the $12.7 million relief fund opened this week.

“Financial assistance, I think, will start being dispersed to families next week," said Renee Wizig-Barrios with the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

The United Way of Houston and Greater Houston Community Foundation are administering the fund and matching homeowners with nonprofits to get the help.

“Most of the nonprofits are actually providing the construction themselves, so they’re providing the plumbers, the construction managers, ectera," Wizig-Barrios said.

To apply for home repair, go to https://www.connectivetx.org/. The application is under the "winter storm" tab.

For financial help or anything else, you can call the 2-1-1 United Way Helpline, and they will take it from there. 

If you would like to donate to the relief fund, visit https://winterstormrelieffund.org/.

For more information on 4B Disaster Response Network, if you need help or want to donate, visit https://4bresponse.org/.

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