Giving Thanks Off the Court
Over the past two years, residents of Royal Palms Apartments, located on the southeast side of Houston, Texas, displayed many examples of being determined to continue. Royal Palms is a multifamily development consisting of 126 units, all of which receive federally subsidized rental assistance. The residents survived Hurricane Ike that hit the area in September 2008 and the severe flooding from the tornado and storm that hit the area January 2011.
During Hurricane Ike, all 126 units were damaged requiring residents to be relocated for approximately 18 months until every unit was rehabilitated. No sooner than the residents moved back into their units, half of the families lost everything again and had to relocate due to the January 2011 storm. With the help of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, HUD's Houston Multifamily Housing Program Center, HUD Contract Administrator Southwest Housing Compliance Corporation, and local nonprofits Project Lift and the Red Cross, 63 families were relocated to safe and decent housing.
Through it all, the storms did not put a damper on the joy and enthusiasm exemplified on the faces of the adults and children two days before Thanksgivings, November 20, 2012. Patrick Patterson, Starting Forward with the Houston Rockets, showed up at the Royal Palms "Court" yard with a U-Haul filled with turkeys for each family. The residents were treated to sharing Thanksgiving bounty in its truest form. Patrick signed autographs and took photos with each child and adult, along with passing out 126 turkeys. At the end of the day, each parent had their newfound bounty in hand. The children had stories to share with the other less fortunate kids upon returning to school after the Thanksgiving break. They talked about their new friend and, according to Russell Brandes, Project Manager, HUD Houston Multifamily Housing Program Center, had pictures to prove it.
All those concerned were thankful for living in a community where its heart showed again to be as big as Texas.
|Content Archived: February 10, 2015|