After taking a ton of heat on social media for not initially opening his 16,000-plus-seat Lakewood Church to house victims of the historic flooding produced by Hurricane Harvey, Houston millionaire televangelist Joel Osteen has agreed to host area residents displaced by the inundation with various levels of accommodations depending on their generosity.
In an announcement from his $10.5 million mansion, Osteen relented to public pressure, offering a three-level premium sheltering plan for those wishing to use his megachurch as a refuge.
Those donating $20,000 to his church would receive “Priority Platinum” accommodations in the VIP clubhouse boxes at the top of the church, away from floodwaters. Platinum-level flood victims also would receive an autographed copy of Osteen’s latest book and Wi-Fi access.
With a contribution of $10,000, “gold level” evacuees get a seat in the lower portion of the former sports arena. They also will receive a basic Lakewood Church 90-day membership and a free digital download of Osteen’s e-book on Amazon.
“Jesus said the poor would always be with us. He was right. I can’t get the smell of the poor out of these Persian rugs.”
“Silver level” sheltering is available for $5,000. Flood victims in this lowest tier can lie down in a restroom of the church, or in whatever space they can find. The silver package also comes with one free meal of Ramen noodles or a bologna sandwich from the church cafeteria each day.
Remaining victims who cannot afford to pay for one of the three premium shelter plans earn basic accommodations (a broom closet with 20 other people) by cleaning the facilities and selling copies of Your Best Life Now to fellow evacuees.
Pressed for further comments by The Red Shtick, Osteen replied, “Jesus said the poor would always be with us. He was right. I can’t get the smell of the poor out of these Persian rugs. Servpro is going to be busy at Lakewood Church for weeks to come.”