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NEWS | Aug. 31, 2017

644th Transporation Company opens its doors to civilian, military personnel

By Sgt. 1st Class Tony Foster 211th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

The Army Reserve’s 644th Transportation Company is providing shelter to displaced civilians and Soldiers in the North Houston area.
The North Houston Army Reserve Center is providing many amenities and necessities to all those in need.

“We opened our doors to our civilians, Soldiers and their family members,” said Mr. Darrell Bell, 644th unit administrator and facility coordinator. “We’re here to take care of them. We have cots and meals available.”

Soldiers and staff of the reserve center came out in force to support their comrades-in-arms and the local neighboring community. Some full-time staff were displaced by Hurricane Harvey and are also residing in the reserve center. Others stayed on-site to volunteer their assistance, even though they suffered no losses in the catastrophic event.

“I wasn’t affected by the storm, but I’m here in support of the local area, and our Soldiers,” said Bell. “I wanted to be here to make sure things were facilitated.”

Just as the facility staff felt a need to service their community, local civilians also felt the need to aid their local service members.

“My sister informed me that her unit was opening a shelter, and wasn’t sure what they needed,” said Mrs. Naomi Wright, volunteer team leader and sibling of a Reserve Soldier in the 644th. “I got on the app for my neighborhood, Next Door, and told my neighbors that the local Army Reserve center was starting a shelter, and we need to assist.”

The local community brought in several items for the displaced. Many more volunteers provided breakfast, lunch and other food at various times throughout the day.

“The community pulled together and brought in clothes, shoes, blankets, diapers and non-perishable items,” said Wright.

Local businesses also donated pallets of food and water to aid those in need. Even local police and fire departments caught wind of their efforts and wanted to assist.

“Keeping the safety in mind of our citizens, the Army Reserve Center has been outstanding,” said Ed Venegas, assistant fire chief for Aldine Fire and Rescue. “Also, you guys opened up the doors to negotiations through meetings with the fire chief to open up a small shelter to house the displaced personnel.”

“We’re coordinating to get resources here logistically for the people housed here,” Venegas added.

The staff and volunteers continue their efforts to secure whatever is needed to provide comfort for those displaced.

“We are not part of an organization,” said Wright. “There was a need, I put out a call stating this was a request to the community, and the community responded.”