APRO Gives Back: Michael Norwood and Hurricane Harvey

Michael Norwood, an employee in the rent-to-own industry and recipient of aid from the RTO Employee Disaster Relief Fund.

Meet Michael Norwood, an employee in the rent-to-own industry and recipient of aid from the RTO Employee Disaster Relief Fund. Norwood and his family remained in their three-bedroom home in Orange, Texas, when Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast.

Norwood’s fiancé has Pulmonary Fibrosis that requires daily oxygen therapy administered by a large at-home oxygen tank along with breathing machines and a number of medications. “It was just too hard to transport everything,” shares Norwood. “So, we decided to stay.”

Fortunately for the family, water levels reached just below their home and never made its way inside but it was the constant rainfall of Harvey’s aftermath that caused the most damage. “The roof caved in over two bedrooms and that caused leaks in all of the windows,” recalls Norwood. The family worked quickly to tarp the openings in the ceiling but the three feet of water surrounding the home started to move up the walls and mold developed in the two bedrooms, bathrooms, closets and window sills. The air conditioning is no longer working and with nowhere to go, the family has slept in the living room and the unaffected spare bedroom.

Prior to the storm, Norwood had canceled both homeowners and flood insurance to help fund medical treatments and travel for his fiancé that require doctor visits two-hours away in Houston, Texas. Additionally, FEMA has declined the family aid because although he paid cash for the home, the title is under his father’s name, technically making Norwood a renter and not a homeowner. “We don’t know what to do at this point,” says Norwood. “Looking at it now, I believe my home is at a total loss, but it’s all we have.”

For Michael and others, the RTO Employee Disaster Relief Fund is a bit of hope in a difficult situation. Join APRO in giving back by donating! Click here to donate online, or contact us at 800/204-2776, ext. 111