Harvey AAPI Community Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for your questions. We are happy to provide more detail.
What % of funds are going to organizations and what % is being used for administrative overhead by OCA-Greater Houston?
OCA-Greater Houston is not taking an administrative overhead % of the moneys donated on top of the PayPal nonprofit credit card processing fees. All funds remaining after the PayPal nonprofit credit card processing fees will be used to support the actual work of helping people.
Because we don’t know how much is actually going to be donated and the full range of needs yet, it is hard to determine right now with exact detail what percentages of the funds will go to which of our partner organizations. We are working to organize joint efforts at community information dissemination and assistance where we can be as effective as possible together.
We can say the following for sure:
 1st priority for the use of the funds raised will be to support the extra staffing/time that will be needed by our partner organizations and OCA-Greater Houston to do the actual work of getting Harvey related assistance information out and helping people get the assistance/benefits they can qualify for and for the longer term fight to make sure that government benefits/policies are applied equitably and include AAPI survivors. For example, after Hurricane Ike, it was a 3+ year fight by community groups with the City of Houston Mayor Parker, to spend a portion of federal rebuild dollars with actual low-income homeowners who were living with plastic tarps in place of roofs covering their homes, instead of only giving the rebuild money to wealthy apartment complex owners.
 2nd priority for the use of funds raised will be to help coordinate physical donations/purchases of things like food and/or be used to assist with emergency situations such as helping seniors to get medications that they need immediately and cannot wait for the time it takes to get approvals for assistance related medications. Food items such as jasmine rice and soy sauce that the regular food banks do not have are some of the things we have coordinated in the past. There may be other emergency assistance needs that come up, that the partners will need to evaluate if we have the resources to address them, but we do not know them yet at this time.
Will donors receive information on how their donation was used?
All donors who give us their email contact information when making a donation will receive updates on how many people have received help/assistance as a result of their support for the local AAPI community Harvey assistance work.
How do evacuees and affected families from Harvey apply for financial assistance from your program?
We are supporting our partner organizations to help Harvey survivors, especially the limited English proficient, to apply for financial assistance (FEMA, TX Workforce Commission, etc.) and not directly giving funds to Harvey survivors. For the physical donations of food items such as rice, we are creating a voucher distribution system with our partners to assist the people who our partners help with applying for financial assistance. Emergency medications are another area of need that will be determined by our partners when Harvey survivors go to them for applications assistance and we are working on a system now. Ultimately, what we are able to assist with will be determined by how much is received in donations for the Harvey AAPI Community Relief Fund.
BPSOS-Houston offices reopened Thursday, 8/31/2017 and the Chinese Community Center opens Tuesday, 9/5/2017 and we are supporting them to assist people with filing FEMA Assistance Claims, TX Workforce Commission unemployment assistance, Food Stamps, etc.
We are all working to get FEMA housing assistance information as soon as we can for Harvey survivors. We will have more information next week 9/6/2017 on the extended office hours and community outreach events and other partner assistance hours and will post regular updates on our Facebook pages and website.
BPSOS-Houston 11360 Bellaire Boulevard, Suite 910 Houston, TX, 77072-2531 www.bpsos.org
BPSOS-Houston’s Legal Services has attorneys available to assist with legal questions and application assistance in office or by calling (281)530-6888.