Doorways Update April 30, 2020
This past quarter brought with it a second declared disaster (3/13/20) for the NWFL region. While still recovering from Hurricane Michael, we, like everyone else have been hit hard by rising unemployment, uncertainty, food shortages and the like due to COVID-19.
Rebuild work:Prior to March 2020, we began to receive many volunteer groups to assist with home repairs. In March, the majority of the rebuild volunteers, as well as locally based rebuild groups from other areas who were on long-term deployment to our area have all pulled out. We are left with two organizations to tackle the large pipeline of households awaiting home rebuilds/repairs. Our total rebuilds to date stand at about 102 completed. Since much, but thankfully not all, of the rebuild/repair work is not being completed, Rebuild Bay County inc., the Long-Term Disaster Recovery Organization has repurposed to assist with food distribution and coordination, as well as Personal Protective Equipment request coordination and distribution.
Use of funding:
As a direct result of the funding received from GlobalGiving, we provided financial assistance for transportation (bus tickets to leave the area to live with family), past due utilities and rent and down payment assistance for a total of 18 individuals. 9 of these individuals were provided temporary shelter and four of them were stably housed. Some of the shelter clients will remain with us until the job market begins to pick up. We are currently still working to identify housing options so we have the ability to move people out of temporary shelter into a home. We also provided trolley (local bus) rides; provided 209 food boxes to elderly, shut-ins and large Foster Care families as well as diapers, hygiene supplies, socks and assorted clothing for approximately 60 residents. Finally, we provided case management for 12 individuals; and provided 1 gas card.
We received our “A Better Shelter” unit! We are in the process of prioritizing a family to use the shelter.
Disaster Case Management: The Disaster Case Management Program (DCMP) was launched in mid-January. To date, there are currently over 1,500 cases in the pipe-line seeking assistance. Effective early March, the DCMP program moved to remote services only. No one to one meetings have taken place due to COVID-19. The Community Resource/Recovery Center is closed to the public, so like DCMP, all client interactions are being handled electronically or by appointment when necessary.
Due to COVID-19, we have adapted our intake and screening to include specific COVID education and related questions such as do you know where to go for help, testing, food, etc.
From May 2019 - Through February 2020, the Resource/Recovery Center saw 3,468 clients. In the month of March, after moving to electronic service delivery, we fielded 276 phones calls and provided 557 services for those callers. Services include referrals to other service providers; rental assistance; past due utility and rent assistance; food box delivery and drive through; Street Outreach to homeless; veterans services; ID services; food stamp enrollment; apartment search, etc.