Residents receive new homes thanks to disaster recovery groups

Demacio "Mac" Garcia, left, listens as Warren Phipps, executive director of the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group, explains how his organization and volunteers were able to provide him with a new, manufactured home on Third Road just east of Beeville recently. Garcia's previous home was destroyed when Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Coastal Bend in August 2017. After presenting Garcia with the keys to his new home, Phipps explained that the home would be completely furnished and his cupboards and refrigerator stocked with food within days.

BEE COUNTY – Demacio “Mac” Garcia and Alvino Garcia Jr., from Beeville and Skidmore, respectively, are the newest recipients of manufactured homes thanks to partnering disaster recovery organizations. 

The Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group (CBDRG), BCFS, Rebuild Texas Fund, St. Vincent de Paul, Mennonite Disaster Service-RV Disaster Corps and the Coastal Bend Food Bank all worked together to get both families back home.

Demacio “Mac” Garcia has lived in Beeville all his life and was devastated when Hurricane Harvey destroyed his previous home. Mac was able to stay with a close friend while waiting to see if he would receive any assistance. 

His BCFS client manager advocated for Garcia and his case to the unmet needs round table three times before CBDRG stepped up to fund the home. 

“I’m so grateful for today and all the people who’ve helped me,” Mac shared. “I want to be able to be an inspiration for others and remind people to not give up.”

Alvino Garcia Jr. is another Bee County resident, from Skidmore, who was majorly affected by the destruction of the storm. His BCFS client manager also presented his case to the unmet needs round table, where CBDRG agreed to fund the home. 

“It takes very special people to do this, to work together and get the job done,” Alvino said. “You’ve made my day today, and you’ve made my life a lot easier. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.”

Both manufactured homes are part of a $1.4 million grant received by the CBDRG from the Rebuild Texas Fund. Through the grant, the organization was able to purchase 25 homes to assist homeowners who lost everything with the 2017 storm. These are the 22nd and 23rd homes out of the 25 purchased.

MDS-RV and Hands of Hope built the ramps/porches at the homes, St. Vincent de Paul’s “House in a Box” program will fully furnish both homes and the Coastal Bend Food Bank will delivery staple food items to fill the refrigerators and pantries.

CBDRG and partners have replaced 52 manufactured homes with two more being installed this week. Additionally, the group has completed construction on 42 rebuilt homes with six currently in production and has completed 114 major repairs with 27 underway. In 2019, volunteers have spent a total of 66,137 hours working on long-term disaster recovery projects – a value of $1.2 million.

“Every dedication is a joyous occasion, but we recognize that there are still families struggling to get back on their feet and our work is far from over,” said Warren Phipps, executive director of CBDRG.

CBDRG, in partnership with several other nonprofits, continue to assist socially vulnerable families recover from Hurricane Harvey over two years after the storm. The work is made possible thanks to the generous donors and hardworking volunteers. CBDRG continues to seek volunteers who range from skilled laborers to general help. 

To learn more about the CBDRG and to fill open volunteer positions, visit www.coastalbenddrg.org/volunteer.