As flood waters begin receding and people are finally able to return to their homes to assess the damages, tens of thousands are still in shelters and need care.
St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church in Houston is a focal point of numerous rescue operations, led by Fr. Luke Palumbis and numerous parishioners who are supporting operations there.
The community, while tending to its own parishioners who have lost their homes— Fr. Luke explained that at least a dozen St. Basil families have lost everything and were immediately welcomed into the homes of fellow community members— the church is also helping the community at large.
Volunteers continue to assemble needed supplies like hygiene kits and clean up buckets and distribute them to local households impacted by the hurricane.
St Basil’s supplied a semi truck full of bottle water, flood bucket kits and hygiene kits to the Salvation Army, which is feeding 12,000 people a day in one of Houston’s most affected areas.
The community is also supporting local aid centers and shelters that have set up in Houston.
Of course, in typical Greek fashion, the community is also feeding hundreds of people daily who come through the church doors as it continues to serve as a staging ground for rescue and clean up operations for numerous government and non-profit organizations assisting the victims.
Fr. Luke has also welcomed to his community two fellow Greek Orthodox priests who are part of the International Orthodox Christian Charities first responders for spiritual care.
Fr Jordan Brown from Saints Peter & Paul Greek Orthodox Church in Boulder, CO and Fr Gary Kyriakou from Saint Demetrios in Camarillo, CA have been in Houston for over a week tending to the spiritual needs of victims, which includes serving in Divine Liturgies and counseling people in shelters.