Assistance for Hurricane Harvey




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SOLACE stands for "Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel—All Concern Encouraged.” SOLACE provides a way for the FBA legal community to reach out in small, but meaningful and compassionate ways, to FBA members and those related to them in the legal community.

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How to Help Victims of Harvey

Hurricane Harvey made landfall Friday as a Category 4 storm, slamming Texas with brutal winds and severe flooding, leaving Houston underwater and millions of residents in need of aid. Here are some ways you can help.

Lawyers Needed At Houston-Area Shelters

The need for your help is unprecedented. Please help us make a difference in the lives of those who have been so severely impacted by this terrible storm. We need lawyers to volunteer at area shelters. Similar to Houston Volunteer Lawyer's intake clinics or Legaline, the task will be to attempt to answer questions and assist as much as possible with their legal issues. Most persons will want help with FEMA/insurance claims, lost documents, food stamps (which has a 10 day deadline to order replacement food stamps), Landlord/Tenant issues, and other things they need to get food and shelter established. We will have materials to help you answer the anticipated questions. Volunteers needed starting this Friday, September 1st and continuing thereafter. Shelters where we need lawyers are George R. Brown, Toyota Center, and NRG Stadium. We will expand to other area shelters as soon as we have coordinated the necessary resources. Please go to https://Portal.Makejusticehappen.org and sign up to volunteer for one or more of the time slots. The people of Houston have responded in a positive way to this crisis. We need for the lawyers of Houston to do the same. So please sign up and help those in need.

Additional Attorney Volunteer Opportunities

The State Bar of Texas is matching attorney volunteers to disaster-related service opportunities. If you are an attorney who wants to help by giving brief advice, limited-scope service, or full representation to Harvey survivors, please complete the form at texasbar.com/attorneyvolunteer. Texas law students and paralegals are also encouraged to volunteer.

Update from Texas Supreme Court

The Texas Supreme Court issued an order allowing out-of-state lawyers to practice in Texas temporarily under certain conditions. The order allows an attorney licensed and in good standing in another U.S. jurisdiction to practice in Texas for six months from the date of the order if: (a) the attorney is displaced from his or her home jurisdiction as a result of Hurricane Harvey and practices in Texas remotely as if located in his or her home jurisdiction, or (b) the attorney provides services to victims of Hurricane Harvey through a legal aid program, pro bono program, or bar association. The attorney must register for temporary practice in Texas and agree to abide by Texas disciplinary rules. Read the order here.

Red Cross

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recommended that those who want to help victims should donate to the American Red Cross, which he called a “tremendous asset.” A number of other organizations at the national, state and local levels will provide vital assistance to residents in the coming days, weeks and months.

Local and National Relief Organizations

The Salvation Army, Save the Children, Southern Baptist Disaster ReliefHeart to Heart and Samaritan’s Purse are all on the ground in devastated areas and seeking donations to continue their response efforts. Texas Diaper Bank is sending out disaster relief kits to those affected. Team Rubicon is an emergency response team made up of military veterans and first responders.

Food Banks

Feeding Texas is a statewide network of food banks, and Houston Press has compiled a list of food banks serving the area hardest hit by Harvey. That list includes Houston Food Bank, Galveston County Food Bank, Food Bank of Corpus Christi and San Antonio Food Bank, among others.

Pets

To help nonhuman Texas residents, animal welfare organizations will be focused on rescuing, sheltering and rehoming pets. The Humane Society and the SPCA of Texas and their affiliated shelters will need money, supplies, food and foster volunteers.

Blood

Blood donations can be made through the American Red Cross, and Carter BloodCareWe Are Blood and the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center are all Texas-based organizations sure to be seeking increased donations.

Other Relief Efforts

Airbnb has set up an Urgent Accommodations page, allowing evacuees to find a place to stay for free with the help of those able to offer their space at no charge.

A list of individual crowdfunding campaigns related to the hurricane can be found at GoFundMe’s Hurricane Harvey Relief pageGlobalGiving, another crowdfunding site, is aiming to raise $2 million for a relief fund.

Most of the above organizations have volunteer opportunities available as well.

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