Harvey Victims Could Get Free Home ... in Harvey
Officials in Harvey, Ill., say 10 homes are up for grabs
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2017 10:04 AM CDT
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Alejandra Castillo takes a break from carrying water-soaked items out of her family's home after flood waters receded Thursday in Houston.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(Newser) – "Harvey" might now be associated with death and devastation, but one Midwestern city is doing a little something to change that. Harvey, Illinois, is offering 10 homes for free to families who lost their homes as a result of Hurricane Harvey. City spokesman Sean Howard tells NBC Chicago the 10 homes had been seized by the city because of unpaid taxes and would normally be fixed up and sold. But "given the plight to which the victims in Houston are enduring, our mayor felt compelled to have [tradespeople] come and donate their contract services to fix these homes up" so that they can be turned into permanent residences for Harvey victims, Howard says.

The city did something similar in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and Howard says a number of the victims who moved to Harvey after that hurricane are still there. In this case, renovations are expected to take six or seven weeks. "I'll be out there rolling up my sleeves" and "I'm excited about being able to help," Harvey Mayor Eric J. Kellogg tells WLS. "It's our obligation to assist those individuals in Texas … who've been displaced." Similar shows of support for Harvey victims are pouring in from around the country, including from various celebrities. Reese Witherspoon, Blake Shelton, and Jamie Foxx are just a few of the celebrities said to be involved in a telethon, scheduled for Sept. 12, to raise money for relief efforts, reports TMZ. (Read about more kindness in the face of Harvey here.)

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