Last August, Hurricane Harvey hit southeast Texas and unleashed an unprecedented rainfall causing severe wind and flood damage. Due to the catastrophic damage, hundreds of thousands of Houston residents needed help to find a path back to living in their homes. EQR chose the St. Bernard Project (SBP) to volunteer for because “SBP exists to shrink the time between disaster and recovery.” SBP was founded in 2006 by Washington, D.C. natives, Zack Rosenburg and Liz McCartney after volunteering in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. After seeing and experiencing the inefficiency and intolerably slow process of traditional rebuilding efforts, Zack and Liz decided to launch St. Bernard Project (later rebranded to SBP) to help the residents of Louisiana achieve their recovery goals.
EQR chose SBP, not only for their mission to getting people back in their homes and not leaving until this completed, but also because our expertise as a construction company could help rebuild those affected homes even faster.
Last week, with an amazing group of 12 EQR employees in Houston Texas, we took a Hurricane Harvey damaged home from its second coat of drywall mud to a newly textured, thrice painted, finished flooring, trimmed and new doors installed beauty in 5 days. For a team who had never done this type of work together you couldn't have asked for better teamwork and selfless effort. Our heartfelt thanks go to them and for the incredible organization making this possible in Houston and other storm ravaged areas. They project being in Houston for at least 10 years to get this accomplished. They need not only boots on the ground but contributions. This is one way we can build and rebuild great communities!
We hope to do more volunteer trips such as this one in the future. Not only was it an amazing team building experience for EQR employees, but we helped a woman and her family return home and rebuild their life.