House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle

by Doorways of NWFL
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle
House 50 Hurricane Survivors in the FL Panhandle


Quarterly Report Activities October – December 2021
By Kristina Reich - Executive Director, Doorways of NWFL


 
FEMA residents: Great news!

The seven remaining households enrolled in the FEMA program, all of whom have been housed as of October 31, 2021 – the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael (Category 5). Doorways, with the assistance of a few non-profit agencies, were able to piece meal funds to get all of those clients housed. One was a family of seven. Each of these clients were assisted with rental and utility deposits, as well as first and last month’s rent, which will give them a huge head start to become self-sufficient. 3 of the households were assisted with replacement identification cards and all 7 households received a welcome basket with much needed household items upon move in. Some of the items include pots, pans, sheets, towels, and laundry soap.   
Furniture was donated to Doorways for these clients through a partnership with a local thrift store.


The Community Resource Center (CRC) - formerly the Community Recovery Center:

The CRC continues to see a large number of residents. Since Doorways took over operations of the CRC in May 2019, we have assisted 5800 residents, over 89% of whom were impacted by Hurricane Michael; 90% of those survivors resided in Bay County, the hardest hit of the six counties we serve. Affordable housing remains the most highly requested assistance. As of December 2021, utilities and rent assist are about 50% each. In addition, we assisted 12 additional hurricane survivors with ID replacement, food, security deposits and bus tickets to relocate near family outside the area. The CRC moved to a new location in late November 2021. The need in the community is still great and we will continue our efforts to house those experiencing homelessness.

 

As of October 31, 2021, all funding from GlobalGiving has been expended. I want to take a moment and express our gratitude for the funds and support we have received from GlobalGiving. Doorways is aware that the partnerships we form and continue to form are a very important link to leverage our Stakeholders and awareness to the present issues we face. Covid-19 has brought new challenges to the needs in all communities, and we continue to work with anyone in need. “Thank you” doesn’t seem adequate, it is heartfelt. We appreciate all that you have done for us and feel secure in the knowledge that you, GlobalGiving are a resource for Doorways.

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Activities July – September 2021

FEMA residents: Great news!

There are seven remaining households in the FEMA program, all of whom will be housed by October 2021 – the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael. Doorways will assist each of these clients with rental and utility deposits, as well as first and last month’s rent, which will give them a huge head start to become self-sufficient. Three of the households were assisted with replacement identification cards and all will receive a welcome basket with much needed household items upon move in.    

The Community Resource Center (CRC) - formerly the Community Recovery Center:

The CRC continues to see a large number of residents. Since Doorways took over operations of the CRC in May 2019, we have assisted 5, 300 residents over 85% of whom were impacted by Hurricane Michael; 92% of those survivors resided in Bay County, the hardest hit of the six counties we serve. Housing remains the most highly requested assistance. The CRC move to a new location has been postponed. We anticipate moving in the next two-three months. In addition, we assisted 25 additional hurricane survivors with ID replacement, food, security deposits and bus tickets to relocate near family outside the area.

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Activities

FEMA residents: It’s difficult to imagine, but nearly three years following Hurricane Michael, recovery is still underway. Doorways has been tirelessly working with the remaining 8 residents that are still in FEMA Housing providing case management and financial assistance. Of these survivors, four were homeowners who ae unable to return to their destroyed homes and four are renters who are either elderly or in poor health, making it difficult to for them to afford the skyrocketed rental rates. However, we were able to assist two of the four homeowners with securing insurance, paying for electric hook-ups and making water deposits enabling them to move into newly purchased FEMA trailers that they now own and the four renters are slotted to move into a new income-based apartment complex that are expected to be available in the next 30 days. We have worked with each of these families to assist with replacement of identification documents, electric, water, application fees and will assist with paying the rental deposits when they are ready to move into the new apartments.

 

The Community Resource Center (CRC) - formerly the Community Recovery Center:

The CRC continues to see residents. Since Doorways took over operations of the CRC in May 2019, we have assisted 4, 886 residents over 85% of whom were impacted by Hurricane Michael; 92% of those survivors resided in Bay County, the hardest hit of the six counties we serve. Housing remains the most highly requested assistance. In late June, the CRC is moving to a new location where we can also offer food distribution and showers in addition to our current suite of services. The new location is part of a defunct school campus where we will be part of a larger resiliency center created in response to the fact that our area had three concurrent states of emergencies – and we never know what will happen next. This campus can also double as a disaster shelter and Command Center should we have another disaster.

 

New Activity:

In response to COVID-19 and those still struggling from the Hurricane, The City of Panama City has purchased three modular housing units that have been donated to us through Rebuild Bay County, Inc. The units will be used for a combination of temporary housing in the event of another disaster and beginning later this month to serve as a permanent housing solution for homeless families. Photos of the units are attached to this report. If the pilot is successful, the City has agreed to purchase additional units. The units will be located adjacent to the CRC.


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Activity: During the period October 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020 Doorways was asked by Bay County to assist with distribution of CARES Act funding. The funding was allocated for rental/mortgage and utility arrears, child or elder care expenses and food for household that lost income due to COVID-19. In less than 7 weeks, Doorways had 697 visitors to the CRC, processed 459 client applications totaling 761 transactions and nearly allocated $890,000 for CARES distribution alone. The funding had a very short spending period (funds had to be expended by December 20), and since there was quite a bit of overlap with COVID impacted households and those who were also Hurricane Michael impacted, we were able to leverage our GlobalGiving funding by using the COVID money to keep survivors who we had previously assisted stably housed. We were able to preserve our GlobalGiving dollars to assist the 34 remaining FEMA housing cases who are set to vacate between now and the final date of occupancy on March 1.

 

With the incredible job loss continuing for the foreseeable future, we anticipate the needs of our community to be quite vast.  Our area remains in three states of emergency – 2 natural disasters and one pandemic. In addition to Doorways paid staff, we employed 6 volunteer staff representing 1,754 volunteer hours totaling $26,310 worth of labor. In addition, the Community Resource Center, which is operated by Doorways saw 4,590 visitors since its inception in May 2019. 87% of the visitors were Hurricane Michael survivors.

 

Use of Funding: Doorways was able to serve 18 clients over the period as follows: 3 people were relocated, 7 clients were sheltered, 3 clients were placed in hotels while awaiting permanent housing, 2 clients moved into permanent housing, 2 clients received assistance with past due rent and utility charges and 1 client was assisted with payment of a storage unit while moving. insurance for 2 households who needed homeowners/flood insurance; provided 5 households with

 

Disaster Case Management: The DCMP program ended on January 8, 2021, which resulted in the transfer of nearly 300 cases to Doorways and Rebuild Bay County. Doorways is handling lot fees and/or insurance for those purchasing the mobile FEMA unit they were utilizing, rental deposits, utility/mortgage arrears and small moving expenses such as storage trailers, etc.  

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The period July 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020, the Community Resource Center (CRC) was closed to the public due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, however, staff still worked at the CRC and fielded 1,234 calls for assistance. On October 1, 2020, we re-opened the CRC to the public by appointment as well as walk-ins. In accordance with CDC protocols, we scan visitors and staff for temperature, we conduct a symptom and travel questionnaire and provide masks for those who do not have their own. In addition, we employed volunteers who assembled food bags, made deliveries to shut-in’s, elderly and high-risk residents, and conducted sanitization of the work space for our employees. Included in the food bags were masks, testing site locations and symptoms/treatment information for COVID-19. With the incredible job loss, hours reduction and schools closing over this period, food service was the highest requested item for assistance. Volunteer hours totaled 1,264 hours for the period at a value of $18,963.00.

 

Rebuild Activities: With the loss of nearly all nonprofit builders, Rebuild Bay has spent the past few months coordinating the Unmet Needs Funding Table for those still struggling with Hurricane Michael devastation. The Funding table meets once per week to assist survivors with purchase of FEMA trailers, new home purchases, repair financing, lot fees, rental deposits, moving fees, storage fees, insurance for newly purchased home or trailer and other unmet needs. Beginning with the winter break, true rebuild activities will resume and volunteers have already committed to return to the area. The Unmet Needs Committee has funded 130 cases for a total of over $350,000 of which Doorways plays an important role.

 

Use of Funding: Doorways was able to provide deposit and/or first month’s rent for 4 Hurricane Michael impacted households; we provided 1 household with utility assistance; paid salary for 3 volunteers for a two week period when the Hurricane Michael displaced worker’s grant was temporarily suspended due to funding issues; paid insurance for 2 households who needed home owners/flood insurance; provided 5 households with lot fees for newly purchased trailers. We also purchased food and hygiene products for distribution to Hurricane Michael households and finally, in conjunction with Rebuild Bay County, we assisted in the purchase of household items for 20 families who moved back into their repaired homes in the form of a “Welcome Home Basket”.

 

Disaster Case Management: The DCMP program has been extended by FEMA until November 24, 2020. Unfortunately, we have three simultaneous states of Emergency at this time. Due to the fact that we anticipate the vast need and would like to facilitate a smooth transition, Doorways will absorb the cost of one disaster case manager beginning Monday, October 19, 2020 so that we can continue to work with struggling families who were not only impacted by Michael, but also Hurricane Sally and COVID-19. In addition, at the completion of the DCMP program Doorways will receive 160 cases that were not closed during the program period.

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Organization Information

Doorways of NWFL

Location: Panama City, FL - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @N/A
Project Leader:
Yvonne Petrasovits
Panama City, FL United States
$131,187 raised of $200,000 goal
 
84 donations
$68,813 to go
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