Furniture store opens as evacuee shelter

- The man known best for his outrageous fun-themed commercials is extending his generosity to his beloved but now suffering Houston community.

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture, opened his flagship store, on the North Freeway between Tidwell Road and Parker Road exits, to Houston-area residents who were forced to evacuate from their flooded homes as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey.

Gallery Furniture has provided food, water and mattresses to help shelter the evacuees. He says the store has been home to about 800 per night for the last three nights.

"Houstonians have a safe, dry place to take shelter at Gallery Furniture so if they can get here they are welcome," said McIngvale. "We hope to give them some comfort in this incredibly difficult time."

McIngvale is also using his vehicles to help those in need. He says alll day on Sunday, they used their 24-foot box trucks that can get through 5 or 6 feet of water to rescue area residents, including two women and their five children from an apartment.

"We have a responsibility for the well-being of our community, so in times like this you have to say to say to hell with profits and you have to put people first. It's about putting people first that made us successful and will keep us successful. If we take care of the people, they'll take care of us," he said.

This isn't the first time Mattress Mack opened the store for evacuees.

"We've done this before. We had 200 people for two nights when Hurricane Katrina sent all the Louisiana evacuees to Houston," he said.

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