Televangelist Joel Osteen is the Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church, an enormous 16,000 seat “Megachurch” in Houston, Texas. His televised sermons are seen by over 7 million viewers weekly and over 20 million monthly in over 100 countries.
The pastor is a celebrity in Houston and a very, very wealthy man. Osteen believes in and preaches the “Prosperity Gospel,” which is effectively the belief that if you do good things, you will get material blessings from God. And it certainly works for Osteen, who lives in a $10.5 million mansion in Houston.
His followers were surprised that Osteen hasn’t opened up his megachurch, that was converted from an arena that seats over 16,000, to the thousands of people that have been displaced by flooding following Hurricane Harvey.
Osteen has tweeted, saying, “Victoria & I are praying for everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey. Please join us as we pray for the safety of our Texas friends & family.” But his followers were not happy.
Disruptions due to hurricanes and natural disasters at drug treatment programs are common after major disasters. Highly regulated drug and alcohol rehabs confront challenges when responding to extended closures following a natural disaster. Following Hurricane Sandy in 2012, many addiction treatment facilities located in Manhattan, Newark, and Miami had to close. Including Veteran Affairs Medical Center that closed for 6 months. Several interviews with couples drug rehab patients , revealed the hardship families suffered when hurricanes close down treatment facilities .The Manhattan OTP preemptively dispensed emergency take-home methadone and suboxone doses. Following the unfortunate closure, emergency guest-dosing arrangements were made for approximately 100 patients with heroin addiction issues.Another rehab facility was reopened and accredited expeditiously by the DCF. OTPs must improve contingencies for emergency response. However, disruptions in suboxone, and methadone delivery and threats to patient safety are likely to continue until mental health agencies with oversight authority of OTPs describe specifications for emergency alternate care sites during long-term natural disaster recovery.