United Way: Recovery Update

Contributions continue to come in through www.helpNWFLrecover.org
You can contribute your secure donation online at www.helpNWFLrecover.org. ALL money stays Local!

Volunteers Needed:
Operation Blessing – 757-284-9183
Monday through Saturday – Volunteers show up at 8 am at Brownsville Assembly of God – 3100 West Desoto Street

Samaritan’s Purse – 850-529-0867
Myrtle Grove Baptist Church – 5920 Lillian Hwy

Partner Capacity:

· Samaritan’s Purse reports that his organization has been receiving referrals from 2-1-1 for work that they don’t have the capacity to do. He wanted to clarify that his teams are doing the interior work to flooded homes (the muck out – no repairs) and tarping. If there is tree debris in the yard that could be a possibility but it is on a case by case basis. They aren’t doing any repairs, rebuilding, or fixing any large appliances.

Spanish speaking residents:

Special thanks to Maria Olga, who has graciously agreed to translate these updates for local Spanish speaking survivors. We are grateful for her support.


For those of you who may have missed it last Friday, our dedicated AmeriCorps St. Louis volunteers have graciously been calling survivors back and have created the mapping below.

Additionally, for those providing assistance, they have divided the survivor list into groupings of those who have need for volunteer assistance, for basic needs, for financial assistance and for housing. We are grateful for their thoughtful approach to resource and survivor case management. Additionally, they came up with some helpful and creative ways to help meet survivor needs in the community. One involves local churches. If you are a member of a local congregation, please read below. If you think you are able to help serve as a liaison with your church and think your congregation has the capacity to serve in the manner listed below, please let me know by sending an email with “My church can help” in the subject line.

· For members of local church congregations… can you help? We are looking for local churches who might be willing to adopt 3-5 survivors to work to help meet their needs. If you think you could help, please email “my church can help” in the subject line of a return email and make sure to put the name and address of your church along with your contact information (or that of a member of your church who has the willingness to coordinate).
· Additionally a report on the housing situation is attached. It is based on the contact AmeriCorps members have made with survivors. This information is updated as of the end of business Saturday. There are a couple things to note concerning the data. First, the team has contacted less than half of the number of survivors who have called into 2-1-1 stating a need. Second, there are a good portion of clients that have not offered answers to some of the questions. The Subsidized Housing numbers, are believed to be low. There were a couple different apartment buildings that AmeriCorps reached out to whose tenants were receiving subsidized housing. They have only been able to contact a portion of those residents. There are more on the follow-up list from those buildings that are assumed to be receiving subsidized housing. There are 2 identified clients who are living in vehicles – “Place Not Meant for Habitation”. This report is attached and will be helpful on Tuesday when Escambia County, representatives with FEMA, and State Disaster Housing will continue the discussion surrounding this issue. A meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at the Escambia County Emergency Management Complex.
· Here is the map for food needs: https://www.google.com/fusiontables/DataSource?docid=1mdBbaOotd4e-pSRvWqMvBdcEJStfgtE9B8nb7JVr One of the things the map reinforces is how scattered the need is. It’s difficult for the community to see the extent of the need since most neighborhoods only have a handful of houses that were affected. It takes looking at it from a broad perspective to see the extent of the need.

· Here is a map of housing needs. You can click on the dots to pull up a brief description of the need associated with each site. Some needs are for temporary housing while repairs are made. Some are for permanent housing. https://www.google.com/fusiontables/DataSource?docid=1s30slhoWICAFfLLJkIzLuzYzgXw9aJM4gsCNRSJY

· This link illustrates where the transportation needs are in the area. It should take you to a Google Map of where needs have been identified. This could help tell the story of the storm but please understand the map is preliminary but will help demonstrate what we’re looking at in terms of need across the three-county region. Please keep in mind, these are client self-identified needs based on our calls. No one has been out to meet in person or see the site to verify any of these claims yet. The map is current as of 5.22.2014 https://www.google.com/fusiontables/DataSource?docid=1DBqqrSifEVCyJM9Ew9i_MZvrUV9qx01eAnT-URGp

Helpful Information from PREVIOUS Emails:
Recording Volunteer Hours
As stressed before, recording volunteer hours is important as those hours can be used as local match in obtaining FEMA support. Any organization who need someone to database their volunteer hours can turn those hours in to United Way of Escambia for database entry. Our Community Engagement manager, Lyndi Smith and our Financial Stability AmeriCorps, Carlee Hoffman can assist you. You can email your needs to lyndi@unitedwayescambia.org or carlee@unitedwayescambia.org and they should be able to help. We also have an online portal that we would be happy to share and your volunteer hours for disaster response can be captured there. Carlee can assist you with how to log in.
Update from Greg Strader with BRACE
· In sharing the updated VAL Summary he asked that all be aware that total registrations in Florida have now climbed above 10,000. If the Church World Services rule of thumb applies for this event, that will mean at least 1,000 survivors will need assistance with unmet disaster caused needs. (VAL Summary Attached)
· Attached as well is information on long term recovery organizations and contacts for crisis counseling, Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Disaster Legal Services. (Attachment titled DR-4177-FL-LTRG)

For Case Managers from BRACE:

Crisis Counseling
Disaster survivors having disaster related stress call the
Disaster Distress Helpline at 1 (800) 985-5990 or text: TalkWithUs to 66746.
This helpline is national 24/7 and they can make local referrals as needed.
There are also representatives, funded by the State of FL, at the DRCs, providing services

Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available. This program assists disaster survivors who are unemployed, as a direct result of the disaster, and who do not qualify for regular Unemployment Assistance (UI). This includes those who are self-employed, people who have not worked long enough to qualify for regular UI, and others. To apply for DUA, people need to call 1 (800) 681-8102. The hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. Applicants need to call the above number if they have questions.
While we encourage everyone who may be eligible to apply to FEMA for assistance, it is not necessary to apply for FEMA assistance in order to apply/qualify for DUA.

Disaster Legal Services:
Disaster Legal Services (DLS) are now available. The number for disaster survivors to call is 1 (866) 550-2929. DLS is available for anyone who has legal needs that are directly related to the disaster, and who cannot afford to pay legal fees. The disaster survivor can speak with the program directly if they have questions about their ability to pay. When they call the number, they will likely get a recording. They can leave a message. The recording explains that a volunteer attorney will get back to them within 2 business days. Some of the issues DLS attorneys may help with include bankruptcy, civil rights, employment law, family law, FEMA benefits claims, insurance law, landlord-tenant law, real estate law, as well as wills, trusts, and probate matters.

For Case Managers from Volunteer Florida:
A copy of resources sent to the VALS, “Organizations Assisting People with Disabilities.”
· Surveys for a case for support for case management were sent to the Emergency Management Coordinator for Volunteer Florida with input from several partners who managing cases locally along with their regular case load. We are hopeful that the appeal for FEMA support of local case management for disaster is validated and supported because of the team currently on the ground. We are grateful for their support and assistance.