Back in August of 2017, southeast Texas was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, leaving countless homes and businesses in its path destroyed. The storm forced many to evacuate due to the dangerous conditions. Several local CASA programs were also affected and suffered damages, including CASA of the Sabine Neches Region in Orange.
“Our program was out of our office for over eight months due to Hurricane Harvey,” said Michelle Jones, Executive Director of the program.
Despite being forced out of their office, the CASA of the Sabine Neches Region staff and volunteers never stopped doing what they do best – serving the vulnerable children in the foster care system.
“If we weren’t working out of our temporary office that was donated to us for the restoration time, we were working out of our vehicles. This was extremely difficult,” said Jones. “But we are a team and worked really hard to continue being a voice for our children.”
Now, nine months post Harvey, the program recently celebrated the grand opening of the completion of renovations to their Orange office. Attendees were served breakfast, lunch and cake, and treated to the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting, a dedication of the Gisela Houseman Conference Room, and an Orange County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting.
“This event that our program hosted was to give thanks to our communities that we serve, involve one another as a whole, and offer information as to what we do and why being a CASA is so important,” Jones said.
With the completion of the renovations, the program can continue full steam ahead in advocating for children and youth in their community.