Press Release: MAM Responds to the Watson Facility Explosion


The explosion at Watson Grinding & Manufacturing in Houston leveled buildings, damaged hundreds of homes and shook the ground for miles. PHOTO: WSJ via DRONE BASE/REUTERS

HOUSTON, TX – January 28 – On the morning of Friday, January 24, the Spring Branch community was rocked by an explosion that severely damaged the Westbranch and Carverdale neighborhoods, in addition to surrounding areas. Hundreds of structures have been affected and we are still waiting to hear how many families will not be able to return to their homes. Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM) is ready to respond by providing rehousing assistance, case management services and mental health counseling to families.

“The community always rallies around its neighbors and we will make certain the families affected by this tragedy will get the resources needed to regain safe and stable housing and whatever is needed to establish a new home,” said Sonja Gee, MAM’s President & CEO.

MAM’s Client Navigator has been on-site at the American Red Cross Recovery Center, offering guidance to families looking for help. For those families whose homes have been condemned, MAM will help them get into new homes and provide the items needed to re-establish their everyday life.

Bernie Vazquez, MAM Client Navigator, offering information at the Red Cross site for the Watson explosion.
“MAM’s Resale Store is stocked with items for the entire home and vouchers allow families to shop for exactly what they need to move on with their life. Gift cards will be issued for underclothing, bath towels and other little, but very important items,” explained Sonja Gee. “We expect the rehousing assistance efforts to cost as much as $300,000.”

If you have been affected by the explosion, please call the Watson Explosion Disaster Help line at (713) 468-4516 ext. 137. Please include your name and phone number and MAM staff member will contact you.

If you would like to help with MAM’s disaster relief efforts, donations are being accepted at or by mail to MAM, 1625 Blalock Road, Houston, TX 77080.

MAM’s work is made possible through the collaborative efforts of its faith community, individuals, foundations and companies. Support comes in the form of volunteerism, financial donations and in-kind donations of items to the MAM Resale Store. MAM programs help people bounce back from a crisis, care for their families and enroll in classes and personal coaching to learn new skills leading to stable lives.

For more information about MAM, please visit

Watson Grinding & Manufacturing's site is located approximately 3 miles from Memorial Assistance Ministries' main office on Blalock. MAM's facility was not affected by the explosion.

Main Office (Spring Branch): 1625 Blalock Road, Houston, TX 77080  |  (713) 468-4516

West Houston Office: 2424 Wilcrest Road #120, Houston, TX 77042  |  (713) 266-8777

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© 2020 by Memorial Assistance Ministries.

MAM is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.