SBP Hurricane Laura Response

by The St. Bernard Project, Inc. DBA - SBP, Inc
SBP Hurricane Laura Response
SBP Hurricane Laura Response
SBP Hurricane Laura Response
SBP Hurricane Laura Response
SBP Hurricane Laura Response
SBP Hurricane Laura Response
SBP Hurricane Laura Response
SBP Hurricane Laura Response

Nearly one year ago, Hurricane Laura devastated communities across Southwest Louisiana. With early support from GlobalGiving, SBP was able to respond immediately, quickly completing the demolition and roof patching stage on 52 homes and rebuilding 50 homes to date. Further, SBP reached over 500,000 people through its homeowner education (via PSAs, distribution of SBP’s resources and in-person trainings), which advanced long-term community resilience by helping homeowners navigate the complexities of the disaster recovery system.

SBP is committed to strengthening and positioning families and communities to be more resilient in the future. Therefore, every roof that SBP has repaired in Southwest Louisiana is built to FORTIFIED standards, which is a certification that not only protects the home against 130 mph winds but also helps to reduce the cost of insurance in some cases - this is particularly important for our low-income clients, and would not have been possible without GlobalGiving’s support of SBP’s response activities. Now, each family SBP served in Southwest Louisiana is positioned not just to survive, but to thrive. 

Support from GlobalGiving helped clients like Roy. The high winds of Hurricane Laura uprooted a pine tree in 86-year-old Roy’s back yard in Sulphur, Louisiana, crushing the back of his home. Rain poured in ruining walls, floors and most of his model airplane collection. This wasn’t just any collection. This was handcrafted, made over the span of seventeen years on various oil rigs off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana where Roy served as a driller. The loss of his meticulously crafted models is only one of Roy’s losses related to his home. It also held a lifetime of memories of raising his two girls. It’s where his wife died in 2000. This home was where he retreated when the pandemic hit in early 2020.

Like many in the aftermath of Hurricanes Laura and Delta, Roy lost a lot. His home damage made it too unsafe for him to stay, so he moved in with family as he tried to figure out the FEMA process. His initial award from FEMA didn’t come near what was needed to cover his damage. Roy connected with SBP and we helped him appeal his initial FEMA award of $14,000, increasing his total award to $34,000. With support from GlobalGiving, we also rebuilt Roy’s home. Roy is fortunate to have a caring family who advocates and fights for him. Not everyone does and that’s why SBP’s work is so important: we help those who are most vulnerable fight for what they deserve to preserve the homes and lives that they have built for themselves, their families and future generations. 

SBP is committed not just to responding to disasters, but also to employing smarter response initiatives that build more resilient communities. Thanks to GlobalGiving’s commitment and belief in SBP’s mission, 50 survivors in Southwest Louisiana are now living in newly rebuilt homes that are strong enough to withstand the impact of future storms, effectively supporting the long-term resilience of families and entire communities. We are so grateful.

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Thanks to your generous support, SBP is leading the recovery efforts in Southwest Louisiana and addressing the immediate needs of families impacted by Hurricane Laura.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, which was one of the strongest to ever hit Louisiana, SBP deployed a team to assess community needs and stabilize homes to prevent further damage. The team of staff, AmeriCorps members and volunteers worked daily to tarp roofs, clear debris, muck and gut homes and complete mold remediation in Lake Charles and Vinton, LA. As SBP’s case managers assessed the scope of work for impacted families, they quickly realized that the homeowner’s recovery costs were far higher than the awards FEMA was granting. For low-income, underinsured families, this limited funding only covered short-term needs like temporary housing and replacement of food and clothing, leaving a significant funding gap for necessary home repairs. 

SBP doesn’t just rebuild damaged homes; it creates more resilient communities, with the goal of fortifying families against future disasters. Your support has allowed SBP to quickly respond to the needs of residents in Southwest Louisiana to complete the “initial work,” which includes muck/gut and mold remediation. Further, funding through GlobalGiving provided by generous, compassionate individuals proved to be critical in preventing further harm to disaster survivors, in addition to setting up SBP for prompt action and high quality rebuilding work. To date, SBP has rebuilt 35 homes in SWLA and plans to complete an additional 27 homes by this summer, for a total of 62 homes by July 2021. Between September and November, our team completed 86 damage assessments, 52 muck/guts and 17 mold remediations before moving into our home rebuilding work. We currently have 15 active rebuilds, in addition to 18 homes in our pipeline for walks/case reviews. Further, there are another 40-50 in our "application in progress" queue. 

SBP’s services fortify communities and prevent people from reaching their breaking point after disaster; this includes helping clients access all available recovery resources, coordinating additional construction estimates, and navigating the FEMA appeals process. For example, Mr. Norman B. is a veteran of the United States Navy. He and his wife, Charlotte, were in the midst of making renovations to their family home when Hurricanes Laura & Delta caused significant damage. A large tree went through the roof, breaking the ridge gap and several rafters as well as causing severe damage to interior areas. Norman received around $6,000 in tree removal and storage reimbursement, but nothing for home repairs. There is not much information around the various awards and assistance that is available, so SBP’s case manager worked with Norman to help clarify all the funding sources that were available to them. After submitting an appeal using SBP’s contractor estimates, Norman and his family received $19,000 in FEMA home repairs assistance. 

In addition to rebuilding homes, SBP’s Southwest Louisiana team is sharing resiliency practices and ensuring that the community is more storm-ready and aware than it was before. Now that SBP has made a presence in SWLA, particularly Vinton, families in these small towns are comforted knowing that there is a light at the end of the recovery tunnel. While SBP has made great strides in addressing the needs of disaster-impacted communities in SWLA, many survivors in the area are still in dire need of a predictable path forward. SBP continues to rely on the support of generous donors like you to help ensure that disaster-impacted residents have achieved predictability in the recovery process, preventing hundreds of survivors from reaching their breaking point and allowing them to finally return home. SBP thanks you for your support of our work in the community, and we look forward to sharing more information on the impact your investment has made in helping families in Southwest Louisiana return home safely.


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Thanks to the generous support of donors like you, SBP's work for families in southwest Louisiana is having a direct and long-lasting human impact. Thousands of homes were severely damaged or destroyed in Hurricanes Laura and Delta in 2020's unprecedented storm season. Many of the impacted residents are hardworking people with limited resources to fully recover. SBP's home repair program was launched in October 2020 to help underserved families return to the safety of home. SBP has established a case management program to identify clients who qualify for the program, and the team has either completed or started construction for 12 families to date. With the resources available, SBP's goal is to help at least 50 families rebuild their homes and lives this year.

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Organization Information

The St. Bernard Project, Inc. DBA - SBP, Inc

Location: New Orleans, LA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SBPUSA
Project Leader:
Elizabeth Egle
New Orleans, LA United States
$300 raised of $100,000 goal
 
4 donations
$99,700 to go
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