Forgotten After Harvey, Disabled Army Veteran Needs Help Rebuilding His Home
"I've been into hundreds of Harvey-flooded homes, but this was, by far the worst home I've been in."
This isn't the first time Elmer Branch has turned to his community for help, but with any luck, it will be the last.
KHOU11 first profiled Branch, a 70-year-old disabled Army veteran, about one month ago. The images of his rotting home in Alvin, Texas, which took on three feet of water during Hurricane Harvey, moved many to step up and help. But according to David Hollars, a volunteer who has been coordinating Branch's aid, there's still plenty more help to be had.
Volunteers were able to clean and gut Branch's home and move him into a motel room a few weeks back, but since then, the donations stopped, and no contractors have stepped forward to help with the rebuild.
"I'm just trying to get people to realize the situation hasn't changed," Hollars recently told KHOU11 "He still needs a lot of help."
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Hollars, an AT&T technician, first met Branch when he was sent to his home for a service call earlier this summer.
After completing his work that day, Hollars told KHOU11 that he didn't feel comfortable leaving the 70-year-old widower alone in his mold-filled home which was overrun with rodents and cockroaches.
"You know, I've been into hundreds of Harvey-flooded homes, but this was, by far the worst home I've been in," Hollars said at the time.
When Branch's story got out, donations poured in and then quickly dried up. Most of the money raised is being used to pay for Branch's motel stay, but it won't last.
"If we could find a hotel that would be able to help with his living arrangements or find more volunteers to help with mucking out his house, that would really help Elmer's situation quite a bit," Hollars told KHOU11.
"I don't want to let him down," Hollars continued. "The last thing I want is for us to gut his house and then we don't have the support for people to fix it."
You can help Branch by donating to his GoFundMe here. To donate your contracting work or time please email David Hollars at email@example.com.