Catholic Charities Receives $1 Million to House Families Displaced by Harvey

Eric and Shanna Bass donate $1 million to Catholic Charities for Harvey relief.
Eric and Shanna Bass donated $1 million to Catholic Charities to provide about 50 apartments units to families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
From left: His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston; John Kafka, Catholic Charities Board of Directors Chair; Cynthia N. Colbert, Catholic Charities President and CEO; Eric and Shanna Bass; Michael Sonsino, CFO of Velite Benchmark Capital Management.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, the region’s leader in long-term disaster recovery services, received $1 million from an individual donor to provide housing for people displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Eric Bass, Principal of Velite Benchmark Capital Management, and his wife, Shanna, presented the check on Wednesday at the agency’s central office in downtown Houston.

The funds will help Catholic Charities secure approximately 50 housing units and fund for one year to families impacted by the flooding. A private donor has also agreed to furnish the apartments.

“On behalf of the 15,000 people we’ve helped, we know housing is so critical to their recovery,” said Cynthia N. Colbert, MSW, Catholic Charities president and CEO. “To have Shanna and Eric open their hearts to us is an incredible blessing, and we are so grateful for their generosity to help our community recover.”

His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, shared a prayer and a note of thanks to the Basses to a room packed with Catholic Charities board members and staff.

“This is a plan to help people in need, and this fits right into what Catholic Charities does best: case management. That’s what they do,” he said. “The beauty of this gift of money to help with some places of residence will make an impact. I’m glad you picked Catholic Charities; they know what they’re doing.”

Eric Bass said he and his wife were motivated to make the gift after seeing news coverage of the devastation from Harvey, thousands of people standing in long lines for assistance, and helping friends gut damaged homes.

“Whether it was in an official or unofficial capacity, we all know someone who has been impacted by this event,” Eric Bass said. “It was the days after Harvey in which we were helping friends clean up, that Shanna and I turned to each other and said ‘Isn’t there something else that we can do?’

“Harvey was a tremendous tragedy for the city. You probably know that better than anyone else. You’ve been on the front lines dealing with people that have been impacted. With this gift, we are once again asking Catholic Charities to be on the front lines making sure the benefits of these apartments go where they’re most needed, and for that we’re very thankful.”

Catholic Charities Disaster Recovery services helps individuals and families dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters like hurricanes, floods and other catastrophes. The organization provides response coordination and short-term and long-term recovery services so they can get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

To help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, www.CatholicCharities.org/helpforharvey

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