Lutheran Disaster Response receives grant for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts

By Candice Hill Buchbinder

ELCA News

Lutheran Disaster Response has been allocated up to $7.3 million from the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) as part of a cooperative agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support the implementation of a disaster case-management delivery mechanism for survivors of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Lutheran Disaster Response is one of five National VOAD members participating in Project Comeback: Texas, a program specific to the state. Working through Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response, a ministry of Upbring, funds will be used to hire case managers to help disaster survivors access their recovery needs and identify resources, financial and other, to rebuild their homes and their lives.

“Lutheran Disaster Response is pleased to be a part of this program that will help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey by providing disaster case-management services through our long-time affiliate, Upbring, which has many years’ experience in this work. This work will assist survivors by having a person to walk with them down the long road to recovery,” said the Rev. Michael Stadie, program director of Lutheran Disaster Response U.S.

Much of the work will be focused in 10 counties, one of which includes the city of Rockport, a Texas coastal city that was one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey.

“Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response, a ministry of Upbring, is honored to partner with the ELCA and Lutheran Disaster Response to provide disaster case-management services for an anticipated 1,000 families along the Texas Gulf Coast that continue to feel the devastation of Hurricane Harvey,” said Kurt Senske, Upbring CEO. “By joining forces with local congregations and community organizations, we will truly be serving those in need as we provide help, hope and resources to create a brighter tomorrow.”

According to a National VOAD press release, Project Comeback: Texas will be implemented by National VOAD members through their local affiliates and partners, and the direct providers will be organizations already connected to their communities, allowing for better understanding of local relationships, resources and culture. It is also expected that these organizations will hire, collectively, over 400 people – the vast majority of whom will be local hires, further contributing to the community’s economic recovery.

Many of the National VOAD consortium partners are already working in these areas and the availability of FEMA funding will allow them to expand their capacity to other areas of need and extend the length of time that they are able to provide disaster case-management services to over 12,000 households in need of further support.

“By joining forces with local congregations and community organizations, we will truly be serving those in need as we provide help, hope and resources to create a brighter tomorrow.”

Person Being Quoted

Kurt Senske, Upbring CEO

According to a National VOAD press release, Project Comeback: Texas will be implemented by National VOAD members through their local affiliates and partners, and the direct providers will be organizations already connected to their communities, allowing for better understanding of local relationships, resources and culture. It is also expected that these organizations will hire, collectively, over 400 people – the vast majority of whom will be local hires, further contributing to the community’s economic recovery.

Many of the National VOAD consortium partners are already working in these areas and the availability of FEMA funding will allow them to expand their capacity to other areas of need and extend the length of time that they are able to provide disaster case-management services to over 12,000 households in need of further support.

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