Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund Has Disbursed $110.5 Million

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund Has Disbursed $110.5 Million

The Greater Houston Community Foundation's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund reports that it has received more than $114 million from over 127,000 donors in the twelve months since Hurricane Harvey inundated the Texas Gulf Coast.

According to the report (10 pages, PDF), the fund has disbursed more than $110.5 million to 123 organizations in support of immediate relief and longer-term recovery efforts in and around the Houston area. A first round of grants in October ($7.5 million) focused on immediate relief and basic needs; a second round in November ($28.5 million) supported nonprofit and faith-based organizations working to meet the needs of their communities; a third round in January 2018 ($32 million) was aimed at building capacity for case management and financial assistance for vulnerable populations in hard-hit areas; and a fourth round in April comprised one- to two-year grants ($44.6 million) in support of efforts to build low-income housing, provide access to legal services, and mitigate adverse health effects, with a focus on children.

Grantees have reported serving more than 150,000 households to date, with the expectation that an additional 40,000 will be served through 2020. Of the beneficiaries, 51 percent were Latinx, 35 percent were African American, 5 percent were white, and 9 percent belonged to other races/ethnicities, while 63 percent had household incomes below 100 percent of the federal poverty level and 27 percent had incomes between 100 percent and 200 percent of FPL.

The report also includes lessons learned from the fund and considerations for future disaster relief efforts. Compiled by FSG and based on interviews with nearly a hundred and fifty stakeholders, insights include the importance of an effective backbone organization such as GHCF, the fund's administrator, and the need to establish a disaster administration fund to select grantees in advance; creating a funding category for small and underresourced organizations, with the aim of advancing diversity and equity in disaster-relief grantmaking; and the importance of working with funders, government, nonprofits, and other stakeholders to establish clear roles and a deliberate coordinated response to future disasters.

"Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund Releases Evaluation and Impact Report." Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund Press Release 08/24/2018. "Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund." Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund Report 08/24/2018.