Family Took Refuge from Hurricane Harvey at St. Anthony Family Shelter

Author: Catholic Charities Published:

The Halls have seen their share of hurricanes. Six to be exact. Grandma and Grandpa Hall survived Hurricanes Lilly, Katrina and Rita when they lived in Louisiana, and they all experienced Ike, Alicia and most recently Harvey while living in Texas. When one of the family’s sons turned one he celebrated his birthday in a shelter as the family took cover from Ike. He celebrated his 10th birthday this week at St. Anthony Family Shelter.

When the group made their way to St. Anthony Family Shelter after evacuating from Harvey all of their clothes were wet and dirty. They entered the shelter and staff wondered how they got in through the locked doors. That is when Mary, the mother, realized God had brought her family there. She heard God’s words: “I brought you here. Your prayers have been answered.”

The Halls do not plan to return to Texas, so they will not qualify for FEMA assistance. They used what cash they had on hand in their move from Texas to Kansas, staying in motels and sleeping in their truck for several nights along the way.

With help from other local agencies, the three children are attending Wichita schools and are doing well. The 14-year-old daughter was being bullied in Texas but is now happy and thriving at East High School.

The Halls were not asking for a handout when they made their way to Wichita. They just needed a hand-up in a time of crisis. “The hurricane became a humbling thing for us,” said Grandma Hall. 

Now they are hopeful about their future.

Their goal is to find housing within the next 30 days. Mary was hired just this week at Denny’s. She worked for the restaurant in Texas. 

The children are excited to see snow in Kansas, but Mary said she’s a little afraid of the tornados.  “We’ll take it as it comes, and we’ll do it together.”