In August 2021, Hurricane Ida devastated the state of Louisiana. Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana to help families pay rent and buy domestic appliances that were destroyed in the flooding. The program is focused on the Latinx community, single mothers, older adults and those with special needs.
In August 2020, Hurricane Laura made landfall in the Gulf Coast, with the eye of the storm positioned directly over Lake Charles, Louisiana. The devastating Category 4 hurricane brought on storm surges, tornadoes and flooding along the Texas-Louisiana border, causing billions of dollars of damage and killing at least ten people. Hurricane Delta made landfall and caused further damages the following October. Episcopal Relief & Development is working with the Episcopal Church in Western Louisiana to repair homes and build strong systems of support to prepare the most vulnerable for the next disaster.
The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California has been an Episcopal Relief & Development disaster response partner for the past five years of repeated, catastrophic events including the LNU Complex, Kincade and Carr and Mendocino fires as well as the Camp Fire in Butte County. Episcopal Relief & Development has supported the diocese in providing relief and recovery support through a network of active churches. As part of the long-term recovery process, leaders are working to create a more interconnected Californian Episcopal response to future fires caused by an ongoing drought and climate change in addition to other disasters that may span over diocesan lines.
Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) to provide case management for those living in the New York City boroughs affected by Hurricane Ida in the fall of 2021. The program will focus on low-income families, the uninsured and those unable to receive money from FEMA.
Five years after Hurricane Maria, Episcopal Relief & Development continues to partner with the Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico’s Programa REDES to support its supply distribution efforts, restore uninsured homes, provide emotional care for caregivers and ongoing help with volunteer management and resiliency building. As part of its resiliency building initiatives, the program has formed micro-savings groups in order to build financial resilience in isolated, under-resourced areas. The program’s systems have been useful, and scalable, during the series of earthquakes and aftershocks that occurred in late 2019 and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Episcopal Church in Colorado in partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development is reaching thousands of people by providing food through church case management, food pantries, safe and sanitary housing, home repairs and pastoral support. They are also leveraging relationships with local and national nonprofit organizations to make a far reaching impact, sharing expertise and resources.
Farmworkers face unique challenges during and after disasters, including lack of transportation to evacuate, loss of work and visas if crops are damaged and possible exposure to hazardous and toxic substances. In addition, many of them are put in jeopardy because of literacy issues and not understanding emergency warning messages. Episcopal Farmworkers Ministry, in partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, is leading the way to improve disaster preparedness and response capacity of this group. Their efforts help ensure that the workers realize a full and sustained recovery after disasters.
Immigrants, migrant workers and undocumented people are still feeling the effects the Hurricane Harvey’s destruction. The storm left many laborers suddenly unemployed, families were displaced and those without insurance quickly learned that they could not afford to fix their home.
The Episcopal Diocese of Texas has collaborated with Episcopal Relief & Development and the Bishop Quin Foundation to expand existing ministries in order to maximize the outreach to communities affected by Hurricane Harvey. This collaboration has been able to fund home restoration projects in low-income immigrant communities, address the spike in domestic violence and mental health issues caused by Harvey and to feed families in need.