Friday, September 16, 2005

ACT Center now at Reliant Arena 

Yesterday, we moved, along with 3000 members of the evacuee community. The ACT Center (now Arena Community Technology Center) is now located in the concourse area of the Reliant Arena adjacent to Section 201. The ACT Center at the Astrodome and the Reliant Center CTC closed yesterday as the remaining evacuees on site moved into the Reliant Arena. We still need volunteers to assist persons locate lost loved ones and utilize other online tools. The ACT Center will continue operations until this facility closes and all residents have been placed in other housing.

While we continue to have success in finding lost loved ones, our work is more difficult. Volunteers like Pam, Mark, Maggie, Kevin, Eugenia, Mike, Jimmie, Suzi and others continue to help out day after day. They are relentless in their efforts to assist evacuees. Sometimes the work is much more difficult than expected as in two cases yesterday. One volunteer assisted a young women make arrangements to bury her 2 year son who died in the floodwaters, while and another assisted an evacuee make travel arrangements to attend her father's funeral.

Life and death go on in this community. The living make arrangements to bury their loved ones. Children and youth leave for school each morning. Adults deal with the issues of starting life anew like looking for work, arranging for housing, establishing their lost identity etc. The ACT Center is a vital part of this community. Connecting people to the information and resources they need is empowering. Today, they get help from a bevy of caring volunteers. In the process, they are learning new skills for living in today's world.

Without the generous comittments of volunteers and donors, this would not be possible. We thank our many donors including SBC, Yahoo, AMD, IBM, DIR, Plains All-American Pipeline, Reliant, SimDesk Technologies, Pinnacle Wireless and many more who have made individual donations of cash, supplies, volunteer snacks, computer hardware, and other tools.

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