US Disaster Recovery Programs
LONG TERM RECOVERY PROGRAMS
Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas to support communities affected by Hurricane Harvey. As part of its long-term plans, the diocese hired Jennifer Wickham to serve as Bishop’s Deputy for Disaster Recovery. In this role, she is developing a long-term disaster recovery strategy with a focus on meeting unmet needs including financial support for rebuilding supplies and assistance with child care.
Episcopal Relief & Development and the Episcopal Diocese of Texas continue to meet the urgent needs of people across the impacted region. Episcopal Relief & Development works with the diocese to support the work of congregations and church partners. To help lead recovery efforts, The Rev. Stacy Stringer, the rector of Holy Trinity Church in Dickinson, was named Director of Hurricane Recovery for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. During Hurricane Harvey, she coordinated relief efforts and provided a strong pastoral presence for vulnerable members of her congregation and the Dickinson community. The needs are still great in affected communities.
Immediately after the storm with support from Episcopal Relief & Development, the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida provided critical assistance to those hit hardest by Hurricane Irma, including migrant workers, homeless individuals, seniors, youth, children and families who were displaced from devastated communities.
In the weeks after the storm, St. Columba Episcopal Church housed almost 100 people in its parish hall and youth house and provided critical food and other supplies. Electricians and builders volunteered to rebuild the congregation’s homeless shelter. St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Palmetto Bay served as a food and supply drop off spot for several weeks and, with support from Episcopal Relief & Development, purchased food for meals for the homeless and others in Homestead.
The Diocese of Central Florida is the epicenter of migration from Puerto Rico when thousands of people left their cities and towns to resettle in neighborhoods around Orlando following Hurricane Maria. Through its membership with VamosPR, the diocese partners with 40 local community organizations to raise its visibility and resources. The diocese centralized its relief efforts by expanding the food pantry at Iglesia Episcopal Jesus de Nazaret (Episcopal Church of Jesus of Nazareth). Temporary housing is also being provided by the diocese and long-term needs of the community continue to be assessed.
Hurricane Michael made landfall in Mexico Beach, FL on October 10, 2018. Since that day, Bay, Franklin, Gulf, Taylor, Wakulla, Calhoun, Liberty, Jackson, Gadsden, Washington, and Holmes counties have been working on relief and recovery for victims of the storm. The Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast has identified that the storm’s impact on individual community members, parishioners and non-parishioners, continues to emerge. Each church within the diocese has strengthened existing ministries and added new ones as direct results of emerging individual and community needs. Recovery from Hurricane Michael in the Florida panhandle is truly in the beginning stages. The diocese plans to be involved at every stage of the long term recovery, to allow our storm affected churches the ability to respond to continuously evolving community needs. The diocese plans to hire a Disaster Relief Coordinator who will be responsible for continuously engaging churches and encourage them to engage their communities with pastoral and ministerial compassion. The diocese has also created a mini-grant program which will be managed by the Disaster Relief Coordinator.
After Hurricane Maria, long-term needs assessments continue, Episcopal Relief & Development is providing support to the Diocese of Puerto Rico for food, water, medical and pastoral care, communications equipment, transportation, fuel and generators to affected residents throughout the island. Two warehouses in Ponce and Trujillo Alto serve as relief supply depots where clergy and lay leaders gather relief supplies and transport them in trucks and other vehicles to remote areas.
Episcopal Relief & Development is focusing on long-term recovery, with a specific focus on rebuilding housing without insurance, emotional care for caregivers and ongoing help with volunteer management, networking and advocacy. Episcopal Relief & Development is underwriting three new staff positions in the diocese to handle disaster preparedness, relief and recovery, including a Long-Term Recovery Director.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
On the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, Episcopal Relief & Development and the Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands initially provided cash and cash vouchers for food, water and critical supplies for several hundred people in the aftermath of the hurricanes. On Tortola and Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, Episcopal Relief & Development targeted support for drinking water, tarps, plywood and nails.
Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the joint effort of the Dioceses of East Carolina and North Carolina who are working together to provide migrant and seasonal farmworkers after being displaced by Hurricane Florence in September 2018. Immediately following the storm, the Episcopal Farmworkers’ Ministry was able to identify families and camps in need and effectively distributed assistance. The community stepped up to the challenge and supported their efforts by donating money, volunteering and collecting food and other items. Supporters from the Triangle set up a Facebook page to coordinate efforts and get donations: Farmworker Solidarity Project. The Episcopal Farmworkers’ Ministry continues to work with the affected migrant communities.
This list is comprised of current programs Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting. For questions about past responses, please email email@example.com.
In partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri is providing groceries to families impacted by the recent tornadoes and flooding in Jefferson City.
In response to the recent Tornado, and with the support of Episcopal Relief & Development, the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia will be offering assistance for home repairs not covered by insurance.
Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Diocese of Arkansas in their response to the flooding in the spring. They will be offering temporary housing/building supplies, assisting with household appliances and are helping with other emergency repairs as needed. As part of their preparedness and resiliency building efforts, the diocese will begin researching and considering their camp/retreat center as a place to hold people who are displaced in the future or as volunteer housing and will also be providing materials for church leaders and the surrounding community.
Episcopal Relief & Development is contributing to the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama and The Fuller Center Foundation’s on housing reconstruction after the recent Tornado. The dioceses has also begun a two-fold preparedness and resiliency program in which church leaders and members will do gift assessments and the local LTRG will do a self care activity.
The Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida is partnering with Episcopal Relief & Development to provide and supplies to displaced families, support to homeless communities, replenish the existing food pantry and help released prisoners to reunite with families as part of their preparedness efforts before Hurricane Dorian made landfall.
The Episcopal Farmworkers Ministry is partnering with farmworkers ministries on the coast to provide meals, groceries and other needs to farmworkers in camps that were impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Additionally, the Diocese of East Carolina is supporting families on the Ocracoke island who were impacted by Dorian. Many of the families work in the hospitality industry, and so they have been out of work since many business had to close their doors when the storm hit last fall.
The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles is responding to the Sandalwood Fire with the support of Episcopal Relief & Development. The diocese will be providing gift cards to survivors. Furthermore, the Diocese of Northern California is responding to the Kincade Fire, impacting areas surrounding Nevada City and Healdsburg.
The Episcopal Diocese of Texas is responding to Tropical Storm Imelda by providing food, clothing, bedding and meals as well as offering support for laundry services, families who lost wages and by providing storage after the storm dropped over 40 inches of rain in some areas in Montgomery County and Chambers-Jefferson Counties.