Friday, October 3, 2008

A Houston Update

Not much time for internet, but wanted to update everyone. I've been in Houston for 2 weeks now, and it's been an interesting experience. A great many signs are blown down, so finding my way around has been interesting nonetheless! If you ever want to find someone to take wrong turns with and explore Houston the hard way, you should have ridden with me the first week...I know God has a sense of humor and was ROF LOL watching my navigational attempts! The street I was looking for was always the one that had the sign blown down... :-D

My first night here was spent in a hotel with Barb and David (two of my roommates from New Orleans). That was when we got the news that our first paycheck was going to be held back TWO weeks, not just one, so the paycheck we thought we were going to be getting wasn't going to be there that Friday.

Since I'm a member of (you can check out my profile at I got on the local Houston Group and posted a request for a place for the three of us to stay. I got a phone call that night and the next day we had the absolute honor and privilege of meeting local CouchSurfer Steve McNulty.

Steve and his wonderful family opened up their home to the three of us and another inspector (Kendall) for over a week until our inspection assignments caused us each to relocate. His wife, Lorei, fixed us some of the most delicious meals, and they just plain spoiled us while we were there. It was a nice place to come home to after seeing destruction and hearing sad stories all day long.

And that leads me to the people and homes affected by Hurricane Ike. My assignment finds me meeting with people in the Third Ward area of Houston. It's where you find the University of Houston and Texas Southern University. And it's an area that has a strange combination of HUD projects, student housing, really old falling down shacks, really old nice homes, and some modern urban living buildings mixed in. At any given time of day there's probably a crack deal going down within a few blocks of you, and many of my male applicants have the tell-tale extra long pinkie fingernail. But there are a lot of really good people in this area who have lived here for years.

As I go from house to house to perform my inspections I am appalled at the conditions in which many of the area residents live. I see houses that should have been bulldozed years ago. Many landlords do little to nothing to maintain their properties. And I'm surprised to see how many of the buildings actually managed to remain standing after the hurricane. I'm running out of time, but I wanted to post a few pics...

Tree vs. House 01

Tree vs. House 02

Tree vs. House 03

Tree vs. House 04

Ram Tough

Double Whammy

A House On Galveston Island

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