One Year after Harvey, Extension Agent Continues to Help Residents

  • Service - Motton
A year ago, Hurricane Harvey devastated southeast Texas including Houston and its surrounding areas, and today, recovery efforts are ongoing. “Resident needs, and the needs of those who were impacted, are still at an all-time high,” said Liberty County Extension Agent James Motton II. “With the help of Prairie View A&M University’s Cooperative Extension Program (CEP), we have been able to help dozens of residents get back on their feet.”

Motton has been working to ensure families have food, water, toiletries, cleaning supplies, clothes, and furniture. Just a few weeks ago, he collaborated with a local construction company to install new floors, doors, windows, and plumbing in a Dayton family’s home. “Several volunteers and I worked with Crayton Construction to repair Curtis Bederka and Martha Boothe’s home in a total of four weeks,” said Motton. “After losing everything during Harvey, they were finally able to return to a normal lifestyle.”

Motton also helped a single mom of two get back on her feet after having her home take in a foot of water during Harvey. “Lynn Nichols felt that she wasn’t making any progress to help her current situation. However, with the help of United Methodist Church (Houston), I was able to coordinate for Ms. Nichols to receive funds to purchase sheetrock, flooring, and other materials to repair her home. The economic impact of this project, including supplies and materials, was $26,000.”

Motton has been assisting other local churches, along with the Salvation Army, Sacred Heart, and the Dell Foundation, with various donation and supply drives. “We have been able to provide families with necessities along with furniture, kitchenware, and beds,” said Motton. “With people still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, and with hurricane season currently in session, planning and proper preparation are needed. With these donation drives, I want to make sure residents have basic items in their home in case of an unexpected storm or hurricane.”

Since July, Motton has assisted over 500 people in Liberty, Jefferson, and Chambers Counties. To find out more information about his efforts, email Motton at


-This story by Marchita Shilo originally appeared in Academic Insights.