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.Attachments: