Hurricane Ike – Nassau Bay C.O.R.E. – Part 3

| October 15, 2008

CORE works to restore Galveston after Hurricane Ike.


Map showing where CORE is located.

I remember quite clearly the night I was done in newspaper photojournalism. It was a driveby shooting in Escondido, California (remember the good old days?), and there came this moment, on the sidewalk when I just couldn’t hit the shutter button – I can still see it in my mind’s eye, but that is the only place it will ever be recorded. Being the young gun I was way back then, I didn’t realize it was over for me, but with almost twenty years past … essentially it was over. I slowly abandoned the police scanner, quit the palpitations every time I heard a siren, and wouldn’t chase fires unless they rented me a helicopter (fat chance). Now when I flirt with the news, I have to try and offer, a followup, redemption for taking a tragedy and blowing it all over the internet. The longer I was in Galveston, the more depressing it got, and should get, I suppose.

The best way to describe Christians Organized for Relief Efforts or C.O.R.E. Alliance, is as an organization on the ground – on the mainland in the Galveston area, that has set up the infrastructure for groups, large, small and even individuals to “plug” themselves into relief efforts that help people who really need help and may not be on the media radar or even local government radars. There’s no media, although there’s the occasional star – I walked right past Nastia Liukin not recognizing her in street clothes.


At work – CORE Command Central.

Your contact there is Lacy Hilbrich at 713-471-9457, and she along with a handful of other volunteers coordinate the assignments of up to 180 volunteers – where the stay and where they go on a daily basis. Right now they have a surge in weekend volunteers due to their proximity to Houston. During the week, there is plenty of room to stay and plenty of work to do.

Their base of operations is at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in the community of Nassau Bay. As you can see from the photography, the facilities are what, in my experience with Katrina relief work, I consider to be luxurious. Air conditioning, cafeteria, plenty of parking and right across the road from NASA. What more could you want? My immediate impression is that people of all ages can find work to do here, and there’s plenty of entertainment nearby so that youngsters tagging along will be able to reconnect with “civilization” at will.

CORE is located at 18220 Upper Bay Road, Houston, 77058 (Gloria Dei). Their web site is http://www.core-alliance.org .


Shower truck under construction at Gloria Dei.


Truck with items waiting for mudout teams.

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Neighborhoods with appliances out on curbs waiting for pickup.

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Typical project where all sheetrock is removed.


Water is always nearby – calm.


True appreciation on a local scale.

Next week will bring a photographic post script and possibly an update from trip to Beaver’s Bend this weekend. It just depends.

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Category: Causes, Gulf Coast Report, Life Observed, On The Road

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

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