Community Member

West Street Recovery

Houston, Texas

West Street Recovery (WSR) in Houston, TX was founded after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 with a mission to provide immediate assistance and support. They began by rescuing and sheltering those affected, distributing supplies, and coordinating relief efforts. Harvey made landfall as a Category 4, dumping 50+ inches of rain in the Houston area, flooding more than 150,000 homes, destroying up to 1 million cars, leaving thousands of residents needing assistance to rebuild.  After addressing immediate survival needs, WSR moved on to gutting homes and helped to remove the flooded furniture, walls, cabinets, and other porous materials from over 75 homes. Recognizing systemic inequalities, WSR expanded to repairing homes, advocating for policy changes, and organizing communities. They work to empower individuals and foster resilience through inclusivity, and challenge biases favoring wealthier areas, working towards fair and equitable recovery for marginalized neighborhoods. 

West Street Recovery members helping repair homes.

West Street Recovery is a horizontally structured grassroots group based in Houston, TX. Founded in 2017 in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, WSR is led democratically by a cadre of 12-15 people who make decisions through consensus. Assisted by over 400 volunteers, WSR focuses on disaster recovery and community resilience in Northeast Houston, work which includes home repair and disaster preparedness. WSR is committed to bringing together people from different backgrounds, building a multiethnic and interclass community that comes together to rebuild and strengthen their community. WSR has a history of working with academic and governmental organizations, both as part of its disaster recovery programs and to conduct scientific research which studies the effects of disasters. This includes work with Rice University and the University of Houston to better understand the risks to health, finances, and community, resulting from both natural disasters and everyday rain events.

West Street Recovery members attending a rally.

For more information:

5 ways to help take racism out of disaster recovery – Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research, August 2020

Disasters Are Driving a Mental Health Crisis – Center for Public Integrity, August 2020

3 Years After Harvey, Some Houstonians Are Still Waiting For Help – Associated Press, August 2020

Hurricane Harvey, the Golden Triangle, and the Inequality of Relief – Mas Context, June 2019

One year after Harvey, Houston’s poorest families still struggling to recover – TribTalk, September 2018

A Year After Hurricane Harvey, Houston’s Poorest Neighborhoods Are Slowest to Recover – New York Times, September 2018

Reflections from Houston: Ads, gift cards, and glimmers of hope – TribTalk, September 2017

A2 Staff

A2 Staff

This profile was compiled by a dedicated team of staff members who conducted interviews and gathered information from various outlets, including news articles, social media, and other sources.


Ben Hirsch


Social Media

Climate Impacts

Flooding, Heat

Environmental Justice Concerns

Hazardous/Toxic Sites, Lead Contamination, Sewage/Sewage Treatment


Community Organizing and Education, Direct Relief and Aid, Legal/permit challenges to development, contamination, pollution, etc, Political activism, including protests, petitions, and lobbying

501c3 Tax Deductible


Accepting Donations