Houston's Local Hero After Harvey: 'Mattress Mack'
Jim McIngvale has opened up 2 of his furniture warehouses for shelter, meals
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2017 9:45 AM CDT
Awesome.   (Twitter)

(Newser) – Meals and comfortable places to lounge and sleep are among the most coveted amenities when holed up in a shelter after a natural disaster—but a Houston businessman has that covered in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. While Joel Osteen's megachurch is taking heat for delayed efforts to house the region's displaced, WTHR reports that furniture entrepreneur Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale is being hailed as a hero for offering two of his roomy Gallery Furniture warehouses—filled with beds, sofas, and chairs—as a place for evacuees to hunker down. McIngvale, who's known for his headline-making promotions, put out the invite on Twitter Sunday night, noting the two sites that were open "for those in need" and offering both "shelter and food" and a welcome for pets. Time notes that one store is north of downtown, while the other is west of the city of Richmond.

"We hope to give [Houstonians] some comfort in this incredibly difficult time," McIngvale said in a release cited by the Houston Chronicle, which notes he's also pulled off previous "bighearted moves." On CNN's New Day on Tuesday, McIngvale said between 300 and 400 people were sheltering at each store, per the Hill. "These are great people, they're not harming the inventory," he said, adding he was also offering food since so many food options had been shut down because of the storm. A Gallery Furniture Facebook post from Sunday evening also noted it was sending out "the biggest truck we have" to try to rescue locals trapped by the flooding. Mashable and the Austin American-Statesman report on other local businesses offering their help, including the HEB Grocery chain, which has set up mobile kitchens, pharmacies, and ATMs.

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