In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, KNOWAutism helped provide much-needed donations to shelters, distribution centers, and individual special needs families. Through the generosity of our donors, we were able to provide families with sensory comfort items, clothing, food, water, assistance with transitional housing, and more. We also provided donations to several Special Education elementary school classrooms in the Houston area that were impacted by the flooding. These donations included rugs to soften hard floors, sensory comfort items, teaching aids, classroom supplies, pillows and rocking chairs, books, and other specially requested items.
In November 2017, KNOWAutism Foundation received a grant from the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which was established by Mayor Turner and County Judge Emmett and managed by the Greater Houston Community Foundation. With this funding, we provided additional financial assistance to eligible families impacted by Harvey to help with the cost of therapeutic treatments and care related to autism and IDD. KNOWAutism also provided assistance to dozens of families to connect them with other community organizations and service providers to meet needs for home repair, FEMA appeals, legal help, vehicle repair/replacement, and more. The KNOWAutism HHRF Assistance program concluded in mid-March. However, many local organizations, including but not limited to those listed above, are continuing to provide disaster recovery services in the Houston area.
KNOWAutism helped relocate a special needs family out of a shelter setting and into a more suitable, longterm housing arrangement. This allowed the family to remain to close their doctors and continue care for their medically fragile child.
Find an open shelter near you by texting SHELTER and your zip code to 4FEMA (43362), or use the FEMA mobile app.
Visit the website to view videos and resources on accessing disaster assistance for people with disabilities.
Apply for financial assistance online or by phone.
(800) 621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585 (7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time), 7 days a week.
Houston Food Bank
Click here if you need assistance finding food. For information specifically regarding Hurricane Harvey relief, including a list of available disaster food distribution points, visit here. You can also call their helpline at 832-369-9390.
United Way of Greater Houston
Call 2-1-1 for the Texas/United Way Helpline to find information on available shelters & social services
Salvation Army of Greater Houston
If you have been impacted by a major disaster, please call their main number (713) 752-0677 to get help.
Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies
Portlight has set up a hotline (800) 626-4959 to help people with disabilities locate services and resources they may need following Hurricane Harvey.
Autism Society of Texas
If you have been affected by Harvey, Autism Society of Texas is providing electronic gift cards, referrals (when possible), and support. Call 512-479-4199 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to receive assistance.
This site is designed to help people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), their family members in communities impacted by hurricane Harvey. Visit their site to learn more about how to receive assistance.
If your child has special needs and you were displaced by Hurricane Harvey, you can review these guidelines from Disability Rights Texas and TXSER.
Disaster Survivors with Disabilities Hotline
Call 1 (800) 626-4959 for referrals for disaster assistance with: Disaster-related problem-solving; Evacuation strategies and issues; Shelter accessibility issues; Temporary housing strategies; and Assistive device, durable medical equipment and consumable medical supply referrals
By partnering with the generous people at North Side Bananas, we were able to deliver 250 cases of bananas to the shelter at George R. Brown Convention Center in the early days after the storm. That is about 25,000 bananas!
Thanks to generous donations from our supporters, we were able to provide 4,360 bottles of water to a local church, which was serving as both a shelter and a distribution center. Items were being sent out almost as fast as they were coming in.