Disabled Orange County man gets new home for the holidays with help of Catholic Charities and others

Published 12:04 am Saturday, December 23, 2023

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A disabled man from Orange has seen disaster after disaster damage his home to the point the structure was condemned. He thought there was no help in sight.

The man, Steve Norwood, was on the verge of not having a place to stay but with help from local charitable organizations, he need not worry as he got a new home for Christmas.

Catholic Charities and Orange County Disaster Rebuild teamed up to build a home for Norwood. He was handed the keys Thursday to the house.

The new house is loaded with furniture, appliances and all the needed household items.

Several other agencies stepped up to help, including Nehemiah’s Vision that filled the cabinets and refrigerator with food, toiletries and provided new clothing.

Church of Christ Disaster Response gave a Christmas gift for Norwood to open and provided extra cleaning supplies and household items.

Anonymous donors gave Christmas gifts, extra household items and toiletries, according to information from Catholic Charities.

Norwood ‘s home was first damaged by flooding in 2016 and again with Hurricane Harvey, Tropical Storm Imelda and Hurricane Laura.

He tried to get help from FEMA for the 2016 floods and Hurricane Harvey but was denied when an inspector said the home was habitable even though the inspector never set foot in the home, according to Heather Clark, Norwood’s case manger with Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities worked to get Norwood the assistance he needed and didn’t give up, said Colton Morris, director of development and communications with Catholic Charities.

Orange County Disaster Rebuild Executive Director Michelle Tubbleville said their mission is to assist individuals and families impacted by disaster.

“What we are here for is to make sure people don’t fall through the cracks,” Tubbleville said, adding their job is to bring in funding and stakeholders to the table to get clients funded through collaboration.

With the collaboration they give hope to those that would not have any otherwise.

Tubbleville explained the nonprofit was created in 2018 at the request of leadership in Orange County. Orange County Disaster Rebuild has raised $3.1 million through donors and grants and repaired or rebuilt more than 300 homes since Hurricane Harvey.

Catholic Charities is a program within the Diocese of Beaumont.

— Written by Mary Meaux