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Md. AmeriCorps Volunteers Sent On 21-Day Deployment To Houston

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland volunteers were deployed to Houston for 21 days. They’ve seen the aftermath and say the videos and pictures don’t do it justice.

Millions are struggling with the damage Hurricane Harvey left behind. Its grip is tighter than any storm before, changing lives forever as rescuers continue to search waterlogged neighborhoods for more potential victims.

More than 70 members of AmeriCorps were deployed from Baltimore to Texas.

Luke Lauer says his group is called “The 53.” They set up shop at a convention center in Houston.

“It’s a big mass shelter here, the mass they had was around 10,000 survivors,” says Lauer.

They’re putting out cots, blankets, and food, even helping survivors reunite with loved ones.

“I helped [one man] call what I believe was his daughter, and to hear him reconnect with her after the storm, was really kind of touching,” he says.

Victims who’ve lost everything have been desperate for a shoulder to lean on.

“I see their cot is alone by itself and there’s no one around them because they don’t’ have any family, and just being someone they can actually sit and talk to,” says Kadijiha Jones, a Milwaukee native who was deployed from Baltimore.

While some feel the worst is not yet over, this group from Baltimore is moved by the resilience of those hurting in Texas.

“If we were in this situation, I don’t know what I would do and I say I can’t understand what you’re going through, but I commend you for getting up every day with a smile on your face because I’m at a loss for words,” says Jones.

The group from Baltimore says their deployment is to help the Red Cross, but are prepared to stay there longer, which will most likely be needed.

72 members of the team were deployed from Baltimore and roughly 450 AmeriCorps members were deployed throughout the country to Texas.

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