Local group helps Hurricane Harvey evacuees rebuild their lives - WNEM TV 5

Local group helps Hurricane Harvey evacuees rebuild their lives

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SWARTZ CREEK, MI (WNEM) -

People across the country are sending supplies to victims of Hurricane Harvey, but Good Samaritans in Mid-Michigan are going the extra mile.

"I'll be honest, I panicked,” Ola McLaurin said.

A former Houston resident, McLaurin knew she was literally in deep water. Her home, along with most of her community, was flooded thanks to Hurricane Harvey.

"Everything was full of water,” she said.

McLaurin and her family had no choice but to leave their waterlogged home.

"There was not much left,” she said.

Her husband, Tim Williams, said they had to walk through chest high water to get out.

"We didn't know what was in the water so that was another fear we had, just seeing that amount of water was crazy. I never seen that before,” he said.

That's when they made the decision to take whatever they had left and come to Michigan. They are living with McLaurin's mother.

"We're hoping for a start over,” Williams said.

A group called The Good Samaritan Network in Swartz Creek was able to help the family out.

"Whatever it takes to get done we'll get it done. We'll ride it all the way out,” Keith O’Neal said.

O'Neal said he's working tirelessly to give this family a new start. He said he is working to find them jobs, all while collecting donations for a family that lost everything.

“I heard the cry of her heart. And I could hear her concerns for her babies and grandbabies,” O’Neal said.

As for McLaurin, she said it was hard to leave Houston, but she has no plans to return.

"The hurricane scared me. I don't want to go back,” she said.

O'Neal said one man is donating a house full of furniture to the family. Others are buying clothes for them.

McLaurin will be given educational assistance to help her complete her certified nursing assistant degree, which was half completed before the storm, O'Neal said.

Efforts are being made to help find Williams a job.

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