Where are the Harvey funds promised by Red Cross?

By Mario Diaz

HOUSTON - A Houston man has been waiting on $400 that was promised to him by the American Red Cross for nearly a month.

"Keep your promises. If you promise to help, then help,” Joe Reyes said.

This is the message Reyes has for the Red Cross.

For nearly a month, the 64-year-old has been calling the Red Cross and he says his calls are being consistently met with a busy signal.

When he does get through to the the Red Cross, what awaits? It's just that — a very long wait.

He said the system last week had him on hold for "about seven to eight hours."

Channel 2 Investigates first spoke with Reyes on Sept. 24. He emailed KPRC while on hold with the Red Cross for several hours after he received confirmation he was receiving $400 in relief.

"I went to Money Gram. I filled out all the paper and the guy told me, there is no money here," Reyes said.

Reyes, who lost the use of his motorized scooter during Harvey and is on insulin, said he never expected the situation to worsen, especially after Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern informed Channel 2 Investigates on Sept. 25, the following in the aftermath of their website crashing, "It's back up and we are moving the money very quickly."

During the interview, Channel 2 Investigates also asked McGovern, a former executive vice president of AT&T, why they were still struggling with their phone lines?

At the time McGovern said, "It's simply an issue of volume, and as we're working through these applications and as we're staffing up our phone centers."

Yet, as Joe waits for the $400 in relief promised on Sept. 23, he showed us several times what his life these days is like when dealing with the organization, "Right now it's just a busy signal."

This said, he is now not banking on the relief money.

"If I get it, I'll be very happy. If not I'll survive it. Keep on surviving. That is all I can do," Reyes said.

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