Rheneisha’s Reflections: Hurricane Ida
Evacuation & Arrival in Houston
As the first bus pulled away from our dark and empty campus on Rampart Street, I couldn’t help but feel a swirling tide of emotion – relief, deep sadness, anxiety, and apprehension about the road to recovery ahead for our brave youth and dedicated staff. One thing is certain, our kids are no strangers to adversity and our staff is ready to support them facing this new challenge.
We know all too well the long-term consequences of trauma layered upon trauma. Most of our youth have life stories that are unfathomable to most. Many were infants and toddlers in the aftermath and upheaval of Katrina; while a distant or minuscule memory, the untreated trauma of that experience weighs heavily as they face yet another catastrophe… now as teenagers, young parents, and young adults in the midst of a global pandemic.
Just as our young people were beginning their healing journey or on the verge of stability at Covenant House, they are now facing further turmoil and disruption – another wave of challenges they must boldly face. Yet, even through tough times like this, our youth are still hopeful. They have not given up; and with your continued prayers and support, they will again be back on their road to resilience.
We are tremendously grateful to our partners at Covenant House Texas for welcoming 45 of our young people – including our precious little ones – and 13 of our staff to their “Cov Community” in Houston. I joined everyone yesterday and was immediately touched by the gracious hospitality and warm spirit that greeted our whole team.
We’re also thankful for the outpouring of support and concern that we’ve received since Hurricane Ida made landfall. Just this morning, we received word of a $25,000 emergency grant from our friends at the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to help us continue providing 24/7 comprehensive care to our young people in crisis.
I look forward to updating you on our progress here in Houston – AND our continued efforts to care for our youth, staff and community partners on the ground in New Orleans. Please know of our immense gratitude for ALL your support. We are deeply blessed.
Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go..
Rheneisha Robertson is the Executive Director of Covenant House New Orleans.