Wauwatosa native shelters family and friends in Houston home

Posted at 8:53 PM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 16:16:25-04

A Wauwatosa native's house has become a makeshift shelter to friends and relatives in need in Houston.

It is something John Hoye, the Pius XI High School graduate, did not anticipate as he became surrounded by water.

"All the streets around here flooded," Hoye said.

He and his wife with their 2-year-old count themselves as blessed. They live in a higher section of Houston. That means the water made it all the way to their front steps but not into their house.

"We were very, very fortunate," Hoye said.

That was not the case for Hoye's in-laws and friends, whose homes are underwater. The Hoye's welcomed their friend's Antoine and Erika Scott who just brought a baby home from the neonatal intensive care unit the day before Harvey hit.

"We said, 'We'll put you upstairs. We had electricity.' Especially with a newborn that was in the NICU you are very worried about germs and everything," Hoye said.

The hurricane also forced Hoye's mother-in-law and father-in-law to abandon their home in east Houston, for the second time.

"This is the second time that they have gone through this. There was Tropical Storm Allison, they literally lost everything," Hoye said.

Right now though their focus is on the basics.

"Everybody needs food," Hoye said.

According to Hoye, the grocery store was a free-for-all despite people having to line up to get in. Hoye said once they were in he took an empty cart immediately to the check out line and all the adults shopped. It still took him an hour and a half ring out despite limited food options.

"It's something that Americans have not had to deal with, I have never even had to even think about," said Hoye. "I said, 'let me find bread, oh, there's no bread, let me get some crescents or tortillas.' Let me try to find something for eight people that we can do and make it last for a little bit."

Hoye said there was no meat and a lot of staples. But there was fresh vegetables and bottled water.

Now the family is working on a game plan to get the important items out of the in-laws flooded home. But Hoye is worried that long-term people will forget about all the Harvey victims and stop sending help in a few months when they really need it.

Hoye has also started a YouCaring page to help his in-laws recover from the storm, which you can visit here.