East Austin church hosts hundreds of Harvey evacuees

This isn't your typical shelter and that's the goal of organizers here.

AUSTIN - At Wildflower Church in east Austin, many people enjoyed the nice weather and a 90s-inspired DJ set for a Labor Day Celebration. 

It was a nice change from the unforgiving stormy weather a week prior.

Some of the attendees of the event are spending their time in Austin without much of a choice. Hurricane Harvey forced thousands to evacuate from Houston, Port Arthur and Beaumont.

Flood damaged homes and wind tossed streets are the realities for many evacuees.

"I had all my children in the car and all my stuff and I just told them we have to go find help. We have to. We have nowhere else to go," said Demetria Jones, whose home was damaged by flood waters in Houston

Jones' story is the reason so many organizations like Guardians Gates and Counter Balance: ATX came together for long-term support.

The families have access to clothes, food, visits from the doctors and resources like FEMA. 

"You get the human touch. They appreciate the warmth, the compassion, the conversation that they are able to get here... I really think that's a model we need to start going towards," Co-founder of Counter Balance: ATX Kristina Brown said.

Fifty evacuees are kept on site and organizers say they've helped at least 300 people.

Now that Jones is here in Austin, she doesn't plan on leaving. Jones goal is to continue her career as a Youth Counselor.

For more information on how you can donate, click here

There's also a GoFundMe page, here.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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