All too quickly, rain water from Hurricane Harvey flooded numerous homes throughout the Kashmere Gardens area of Houston in August of 2017, just a few days after Hurricane Harvey hit south Texas. Homeowners in Kashmere, just like thousands of other communities lost nearly everything, and the prospect of staying in their homes was slim. Most had no flood insurance or means to make repairs.
This is where BuildAid Houston came in. BuildAid is an initiative started by the David Weekley and the David Weekley Family Foundation (DWFF) that was designed to identify homeowners without the means to make necessary repairs and match them with reputable local builders who would take them from the start of construction to its completion, at no cost to the homeowner. HomeAid Houston, a Greater Houston Builders Association (GHAB) charity, helped provide the builders and assisted in administration for BuildAid. Within just a few weeks of the storm, BuildAid received their first major funds, a $5.5M grant from the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
Sam Cormier, a homeowner in Kashmere Gardens had experienced over 6 inches of water flooding his home of 25 years. With no flood insurance he initially worked with local churches to help with repairs. But as has been the story all too often during such dire times, the repairs did not improve the structure of his home. Cormier finally connected with BuildAid online through the BuildAid website and applied for help. Once his application was approved and construction began, Cormier was able to move back into his home after only five weeks.
Local custom builder Sand Castle Homes was the BuildAid builder on the Cormier project as well as on a second home in Kashmere that experienced high waters. Nicole Keown, purchasing manager for Sand Castle began working with Cormier from the beginning of the construction process through to completion. "He, like many of his neighbors had lost nearly everything and compounding this was the fact he had no flood insurance," said Keown. "We were honored to work through BuildAid to help Mr. Cormier rebuild not only his home but his life."
Everything was replaced, including sheetrock, doors, kitchen cabinets, appliances, flooring, plumbing, electrical and the A/C system. "We were proud to take part in the HomeAid initiative BuildAid," said Mike Dishberger, CEO and co-owner of Sand Castle. "It was a humbling experience working with two homeowners in the Kashmere Gardens area who lost nearly everything due to flooding after Hurricane Harvey. I am proud Sandcastle Homes was part of this innovative program."
Sandcastle Homes, a premier home builder in Houston within the Inner Loop and surrounding new home markets, has been building luxury homes since 1995. "Well respected builders like Sand Castle Homes is one of the big reasons the BuildAid initiative has been so successful," said Bette Moser with HomeAid Houston. "These GHBA builders are taking time away from their businesses to help homeowners still struggling to reclaim normal lives. We can't thank the BuildAid builders enough for all they have done."