HOUSTON — Hurricane Harvey is ruining plans for a lot of people this week, but especially for Eugene Stroman.
“I'm going to have to deal with this weather, and hope it don't be too bad," Stroman said. "Today was supposed to be move-in day, but the weather is too bad, and they can't get the apartment inspected."
Stroman, who has been living beneath a bridge in Midtown near Eagle Street and La Branch, was scheduled to move into permanent housing. An outreach team with the Houston Police Department has already been by.
“HPD came and asked us if we wanted to leave and go to a shelter because the storm was coming," Stroman said. "Some people left; the rest of us, we decided we're staying to tough it out.”
There's room for some of them at Star of Hope.
“The Star of Hope men's shelter has some rooms. We're open and we're ready," Scott Arthur of Star of Hope said. "We're constantly calling, trying to find out who has a bed [and] who does not."
Many won't leave because they're not allowed to bring all of their property with them.
“I got too much bags to carry," David Trevino said. "I’m going to lose all this property I got here: my tent and all that. It's gonna be gone."
“Our clients are limited to taking one bag because we just have a storage facility, and it can only take so much," Arthur said. "We'd rather be able to store souls, than bags.”
But as the storm rolls in, and the water starts to rise, the resolution to stay may falter.
“The problem is there's a lot of mental illness out there," Arthur said. "They may wait too long. Hopefully, that won't be the case. We're constantly out here with our arms open saying now is the time.”
As for folks watching at home, Stroman has a request: “I just want them to say a prayer for us that we'll all be alright, and we'll say a prayer for them. Just cause you live in a house, there's no guarantee. Because houses get blowed [sic] away, too.”