WICHITA – The Hall family has seen their share of hurricanes. Six to be exact.
Grandma and Grandpa Hall survived Hurricanes Lilly, Katrina, and Rita when they lived in Louisiana, and they all experienced Ike, Alicia, and most recently, Harvey, while living in Texas. When one of the family’s sons turned one, he celebrated his birthday in a shelter where the family took cover from Ike. He recently celebrated his 10th birthday – at the St. Anthony Family Shelter.
When the group made their way to the St. Anthony Family Shelter after evacuating from Harvey, all of their clothes were wet and dirty. They entered the shelter and staff wondered how they got in through the locked doors. That is when Mary, the mother, realized God had brought her family there. She said she heard God say: “I brought you here. Your prayers have been answered.”
The Halls do not plan to return to Texas, so they will not qualify for FEMA assistance. They used what cash they had on hand in their move to Kansas, staying in motels and sleeping in their truck for several nights along the way.
With help from other local agencies, the three children are attending Wichita schools and are doing well. The 14-year-old daughter was being bullied in Texas but is now happy and thriving at East High School.
The Halls were not asking for a handout when they made their way to Wichita. They just needed a hand-up in a time of crisis. “The hurricane became a humbling thing for us,” said Grandma Halls.
Now they are hopeful about their future.
Their goal is to find housing within the few weeks. Mary was hired just this week at Denny’s. She worked for the restaurant in Texas.
The children are excited to see snow in Kansas, but Mary said she’s a little afraid of the tornados. “We’ll take it as it comes, and we’ll do it together,” she said.