Precinct One & Galilee Missionary Baptist Church
By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb, M.Ed.
Houston- No one could have predicted the magnitude of Harvey and the devastation it left to thousands of people. It will take Houston awhile to get back to some form of normalcy, and with many who have lost so much, people will need to be able to lean on the backs of the community to help them during this catastrophic time. In order to assist families in their time of need, Precinct One teamed up with Galilee Missionary Baptist Church to be a distribution site where people could pick up items they needed, but also a place where people could donate items as well.
Due to immense amount of donations, Precinct One and Galilee were able to be a distribution hub for 3rd Ward Shape Community Center, Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Independence Heights, and many more. In addition, the George Foreman Youth Community Center became a place where people could also donate items. All items were then picked up and taken to Galilee for distribution. A special thanks goes out to ABC 13, who featured everything that was taking place in order to help get the word out to the community.
Dr. Edwin A. Davis, Pastor of Galilee expressed, “It was a collaborative effort with Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, which resides in Precinct One, to be in partnership with Constable Alan Rosen, and Precinct One’s Constable’s Office. I was very thankful that we as a church family could assist in helping those who were in a crisis situation. I am thankful that we stepped up to the plate and helped, but I wish we could have done more. Servicing over 2,000 people was a very humbling and touching experience that I will never forget.”
No one could have ever imagined the damage that Harvey has done, and for Constable Alan Rosen, and many others, it is something that he has never seen before. He expressed, “I’ve lived here almost fifty years, and I have never seen the devastation I’ve seen over the last few days, and I’ve never seen the human spirit as much as I have in the last few days either. If our community was ever divided, we are no longer divided right now. We are together.”
For Dr. Edwin Davis, he believes that this storm has a purpose, and it will positively impact our community, as well as our nation. He stated, “It is my belief that Houston will be the model and the showcase to bring communities of all ethnic backgrounds together. While watching the multitude of people that were being rescued, I saw people of every background saving people who were in need of being helped.” For the Constable, he has also seen the positive impact the storm has placed upon our communities. He illustrated that, “The one positive thing is that the community is coming together…they are giving, and opening their wallets and their hearts in trying to help people get their lives back together. Everyone seems to be compassionate right now and caring and loving of one another. It doesn’t matter your race, your socioeconomic status, or what your background is. People are willing to lend a helping hand right now like I’ve never seen before.” Post the rain, the Constable wanted to set up food, clothing, and hygiene destination points in affected communities where people may not be able to drive because they lost their car. In addition, the stores may not be able to service the community, so it was imperative to help the communities who are struggling.
In addition, the Constable and his officers were on call around the clock, and were able to help many people who were in need of being rescued. The first responders have experienced a lot mentally and emotionally as well. He expressed, “We have rescued people off of roofs, rescued people who didn’t know how to swim, and even rescued animals. We’ve done every possible thing that we know how to do as first responders to try to save lives. It didn’t matter where you were in Houston, you were effected.” He further expressed, “At some point we got diverted heavily to 5th Ward where some people were paralyzed, were on oxygen and their oxygen was running out…you name it, we saw it, and we dealt with it the best we could. It’s tragic, and it’s going to take years in some instances to get over the devastation that has happened here.”
In spite of having to rescue others, many first responders had their own issues that they were suffering from. Some had families who needed to be rescued, and some even lost their houses. Although they were experiencing their own troubles, they still put their personal issues to the side in order to help someone else. Rosen stated, “Most of the officers that I’ve spoken to have lost something at their home but they’re like…that is why I have insurance. We had officers who had families that needed to be rescued, and we went out and rescued their families. Their families are displaced and the officers are displaced, but the officers’ first priority was to make sure their family was secure, and then they could go out and do their job, and they did. Many officers worked, and I’ve worked 24 hours, and I haven’t done that in years…but with saving people there is a certain adrenaline rush where you’re doing something so noble, the adrenaline kept you going…we didn’t have time to think about how tired we were, we just went from call to call.”
In order to make the collaborative effort a success, there were so many people who volunteered their time, and those who donated many items to assist others. Dr. Edwin Davis expressed, “The many volunteers also touched me; some of who were there each day and helped sort out the various donated items so that we could issue them in an efficient manner to those in need.” He also wanted to thank his daughter, Erica Davis, Community Outreach Director for Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office who tirelessly coordinated everything.
Special thanks also go out to the Webb County Sheriff’s Office, Judge Tano Tijerina and Webb County Commissioner’s Court all from Laredo, TX, companies from Louisiana, Sprint stores, Houston Auto Auction, Z-Ro, Slim Thug, Target, Chic-Fil-A, Deputies who assisted from Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office, and the members of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church.
“Houstonians are resilient, we are giving, and I haven’t seen the kind of bonding going on in our community like I’m seeing now.”
-Constable Alan Rosen