The 2017 hurricane season resulted in 17 named storms that caused widespread destruction across the Atlantic region. Five of these hurricanes impacted the U.S. mainland and/or territories, causing large-scale damage across Texas, Florida, Georgia Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, etc.
Lutheran Disaster Response, in partnership with Portico and LEAD of the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, hosted a respite retreat for rostered leaders and their families who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area. Lutheran Disaster Response is also a part of a Consortium of four other Texas based voluntary agencies that will be providing disaster case management to families and individuals impacted by the hurricane in 10 counties. This service will help survivors to access resources, financial and other to rebuild their homes and their lives.
Lutheran Disaster Response is working with the Florida-Bahamas Synod, the Caribbean Synod, affiliates and other International companions and partners to provide relief to the most vulnerable individuals and communities in the U.S. and around the world.
Lutheran Disaster Response provided early support to Lutheran Services Florida (LSF) to provide $100 gift cards to their impacted staff and grants up to $5,000 for staff most severely impacted to help with high deductibles and other expenses not covered by other funds. Also, through LSF, crisis counseling was provided to thousands across 20 Florida counties. In addition, LSF attorneys, through partnership with the Florida-Bahamas Synod, is assisting congregations to navigate insurance claims for hurricane damage.
Lutheran Disaster Response, through a partnership with Lutheran Services of Georgia, are planning to launch a multi-year volunteer rebuild/repair program accompanied by construction management and other services.
Lutheran Disaster Response worked with the synod to establish Lutheran Disaster Response – Puerto Rico (LDR-PR), now a ministry of Lutheran Social Services of Puerto Rico (LSSPR). Partnering with LDR-PR and the Caribbean Synod, Lutheran Disaster Response distributed critical relief supplies, such as food, water, formula and diapers during the days and weeks immediate following the response. Also, were able to provide 125 mattresses to families and individuals. Through our continued partnership, we are providing case management to 190 families/individuals to identify other unmet needs in communities.
Lutheran Disaster Response continues to work with LDR-PR to build their capacity to respond to this disaster. Through our partnership, we are planning to launch a multi-year volunteer rebuild/repair program
U.S. Virgin Islands
Lutheran Disaster Response, through Lutheran Services of the Virgin Islands, is currently providing FEMA-funded Crisis Counseling program on the islands. In addition, we will launch a major, multi-year repair/ rebuild program on St. Croix. They also stand ready to provides services that will assist survivors in building and implementing their own recovery plans.
Significant, funding and other forms of support will continue for years to come, including ongoing support to help survivors create their own recovery plan and secure much needed resources, continued emotional and spiritual care for survivors and leaders in the response, and continued capacity building for our partners and affiliates on the ground.
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