Rose Bartholomae Swanson is one of the lucky ones. She came back to Rockport a week after Hurricane Harvey and found minimal damage to her home. So Rose decided to help people still homeless because of the storm.
“The problem out here is that the places are not available,” said Swanson. “The ones that are available are unaffordable.”
‘Camp Rose’ consists of two tents. Inspired by the Rockport Relief Camp, Rose lets people stay in her yard as long they need.
“They've lived in these tents and they've gone on,” she says. “A couple of them have managed to get RV's and the others were able to get into apartments or small homes that they can rent.”
Swanson says she’s lost track of how many people have stayed at her camp. Right now, seven people call Camp Rose home. Two, including a 6 year old girl stay in the house; five others stay in either a tent or a camper, which wasn't on the property while we were there.
The people staying at the camp have two things in common; they're all from Rockport, and they've all been denied assistance.
“Every one of them have been denied; SBA loans, they've been denied FEMA,” said Swanson.
Connie Nation's trailer was destroyed by Harvey. She was denied FEMA aid because she didn't have the title, only a bill of sale. Nation met Rose at the Rockport Relief Camp; she's been living in Rose's house... for a couple weeks.
“She's been an angel,” said Nation. “She's welcomed me in with open arms, just like she would anybody.”
Rose doesn't charge her campers rent. She says they need to save their money so they can eventually afford a deposit on a new place to live.
“I'm trying to make these people feel as at home as possible, or as comfortable as possible,” she said.
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