When a homeowner returns to find their home looking like this --- where do they begin? To whom do they turn for help? How can they make sense of anything, understand anything, know what to do?
The answer to all is ---- case management! Without case management there is no long term recovery.
Many of you already know that this is the area I have been very active in. Today got the ball rolling for me even more. I attended a training session taught by the Lutheran Disaster Response. I have been through the ones taught by the United Methodist Church and this was the opportunity to hear from the other expert in the "business." Both of these organizations are leaders in their fields and much can be learned from both. It is my opinion that every single case manager should go through atleast one of these trainings.
FEMA also had some time to speak with us. They are always a wonderful source of information and we are very blessed to have 3 representatives here who really do have a heart for the people and want to do all they can to help us help them.
A couple statistics that you might find interesting --- throughout the state of Texas there have been 750,000 applications for FEMA assistance. In the county of Galveston there have been 75,000. And the deadline is this coming Monday with no extension in site at this time. There is also another statistic that says 10% of the applicants will fall into the "unmet needs" category, meaning they will not have sufficient funds to bring their homes to completion! Do the math and you will soon realize that this is a big job! Ike was a big storm but got lost in the media due to our economy problems, the presidential and vice presidential etcs and therefore missed the media coverage. If it's not in the media it's not on peoples minds and the ones who suffer and those already suffering!
Another statistic, of those who have already received the maximum dollar amount anyone can receive from FEMA ($28,800), over 500 of them are not eligible for the SBA loans that follow! Again --- do the math! Could you rebuild your home with that amount of money? NOT! But --- could you rebuild with that amount if all you had to do was purchase the materials and people came in and offered free labor? You bet! This is where the case management is critical! We must reach the people as soon as possible to offer this to them and help them use their funds wisely. Many times that amount of money is more than any of them (or us) have ever seen at one time! We come along side them, we advise them, we walk them through the process, we gain their trust and allow God to come in and do His mighty work!
We are beginning. Now comes the phone calls to the people, making the appointments to do the interviews, to introduce ourselves, to listen, to empathize, to just love them and meet them where they are at! Please pray for us as we begin this process, an in depth process that lasts as long as . . .
Tomorrow we will be welcoming our friends from Convoy of Hope as they make the trip to see our camp and send volunteer teams to us. They will come as they always do --- with a truck load of supplies! Blessings!!!!!!
Until next time . . . Be blessed! Susan and Monty
PS Happy belated birthday to Monty's sister, Shelley! You are in our prayers!!!!!!!