As TMO leaders and clergy worked with families working to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Harvey, one issue they kept hearing about was confusion about Red Cross Immediate Assistance funds. Helen Mott, a parishioner at Our Mother of Mercy, was denied $400 in cash assistance from the Red Cross even though she had to evacuate her uninhabitable home.
Because the Red Cross offers one of the few cash assistance resources available at this time, TMO organized a press conference, at New Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, calling on them to ensure that families who need these funds most will receive them.
"We are asking that the Red Cross would clarify their application and appeals process. We also ask that the Red Cross would take an extra step and work with community groups like ours and open up lines of communication so we can help people during this recovery process," explained TMO leader Dr. Charles Turner.
American Red Cross Representatives Respond to Why People Aren't Getting Approved for $400 Assistance Package, NewFix CW39
Red Cross under Fire From Flood Victims, Houston Public Media
The Houston Chronicle's editorial board credited TMO not only with changing lives, but for working "with the voiceless to help transmute their anger into leadership." The board notes that there are two Houstons, concerned about dramatically different things:
"In one, inhabitants fret over whether to eat sushi for dinner or to grill outdoors. In the other, citizens worry about their lack of access to health care. One set of Houstonians may struggle with traffic on Loop 610, but the other set lives below the freeways as well as below the poverty line. Our city may be technically solving "the homeless problem," but low-wage workers chase affordable month-to-month housing in the other Houston." Read the rest below:
TMO at 30: The Metropolitan Organization's Successes Have Changed the Lives of People, Houston Chronicle [pdf]
TMO leaders are informing communities that there is still time to enroll in the healthcare marketplace with sessions at Evangelist Temple, Assumption and Liestman Elementary (Alief "ISD). The deadline to enroll is March 31. still time to enroll in the healthcare marketplace with sessions at Evangelist Temple, Assumption and Liestman Elementary (Alief "ISD). The deadline to enroll is March 31. English presentation here.
Assumption leaders Maribel Guevara, Lourdes Badillo and Nolvia Artiga hosted a large Spanish healthcare session on Jan. 12. Spanish presentation here.
TMO and the Houston Interfaith Sponsoring Committee recently graduated one hundred leaders from its healthcare bootcamps; all of which have committed to returning to their congregations and institutions to teach others about the federal healthcare marketplace. Congregations are also planning walks and neighborhood rallies to raise awareness. Click on graphic at right for updated presentation in English, Spanish version here.
For more information contact Lead Organizer Elizabeth Valdez: TMO@tmohouston.net.
Interfaith activists, recalling friends and loved ones who have died for want of health care coverage, rallied at the Capitol Wednesday in support of expanding the Medicaid program to cover more uninsured Texans...
Full Article, Houston Chronicle
Two hundred leaders from TMO and other organizations of the Texas IAF gathered on the front steps of the Capitol to demand that the Texas legislature approve the expansion of Medicaid, which would help over on million Texans obtain access to health care services.
[Photo Credit: Tamir Kalifa, Texas Tribune]
Full Article, Texas Tribune