Forty LGBTQ and HIV-positive Houstonians were given $10,000 vouchers to roam through a furniture chain's warehouse Saturday, where a selection of sofas, dining room sets, lamps, decorations, rugs and mattresses had been curated for them as potential replacements for items lost to Harvey's floodwaters.
Luxury furniture outlet Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams donated $350,000 of high-end furniture to families at the Montrose Center gravely affected by Hurricane Harvey.
"These people lost everything they owned and were under-insured, and now they don't have simple comforts like a sofa or table," said store spokesperson Nikki Martin. "It's not enough to furnish every room, but it will at least get them the basics that they need."
Williams, who is from Texas, and Gold reached out in September to connect with families who lost everything during Harvey.
"We're already talking about a significantly more vulnerable population," said Kent Loftin, chief development officer for the Montrose Center. "We're under-insured; we don't have traditional families; we have the highest rates of homeless youth and seniors living in isolation."
During Harvey, the Montrose Center provided shelter and supplies for myriad people, many of whom are transgender or HIV-positive and came for treatment and safety they couldn't get at other shelters, said Loftin. The need for resources for LGBT groups led the Montrose Center to create an LGBTQ relief fund, which since Harvey has provided help to more than 800 individuals, including the families at Saturday's event.
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