Good Samaritans offering help to flood victims and children with special needs

North Texans step up to help storm victims with special needs

DALLAS -- From donations, to housing flood victims, there have been so many Texans stepping in to help.

The efforts continued, on Friday, as fleeing families from south Texas communities continued arriving into Dallas by bus and planes. Good Samaritans across North Texas stayed busy.

"In this room, what we are planning to do is have it more of a resource, social center,” Keio Gamble said, as he walked around a former office building that he is planning to flip into a temporary shelter.

Gamble is among community members stepping up to do something, especially after seeing images of families wading through water in the Houston area.

"I saw my friends," he reflected.

The single father of two is a real estate entrepreneur who decided to flip an Oak Cliff property he acquired this week into temporary housing for some families who lost everything.

"There's a bathroom. We'll get it cleaned up,” he explained. “That's pretty much ready. We have a kitchen here."

Gamble says he plans to offer this space specifically to families who have children with special needs.

"I had a guy call, and he has a daughter with cancer,” Gamble said. “They are looking for space where they don't have to be clustered in with so many people.”

Gamble says a crew is coming in to flip the space for up to 12 people or three families.

He says part of the motivation was after learning what some of the most vulnerable evacuees were experiencing in some shelters.

"I've watched what's going on at some of the larger shelters. You know, it's just no privacy. Kind of chaotic. There's help that they need. But you have some people with special needs, but you just need a little more," Gamble explained.

A little more space and peace of mind is what Gamble hopes a few families can get at his property. He says he knows transition, for anyone, can be tough.

Gamble says the people who stay at his property will have access to food, clothing, and other donations. He is, however, urging anyone with bunk beds to contact him at 214-527-7524.

There are other grassroots efforts happening across North Texas. After some community members noticed some agencies turning volunteers and donations away, they began organizing efforts to collect and deliver items directly to flood victims.

The "Helping Houston Task Force" has been busy boxing donations. About 150 volunteers will spend the weekend loading six charter buses, two 18-wheelers, and six U-Haul trucks with supplies they'll be delivering to the Houston area this weekend.

Operation Community Care held a meeting on Thursday. Nearly two dozen residents signed up to take classes to become Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certified. The group is also among those collecting donations for flood victims and the needy. Operation Community Care is holding a donation drive at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, at the Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center in Dallas.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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