CDP’s Midwest Early Recovery Fund awarded its first grant in early 2015. It was for $17,078.95 for disaster case management work in Pilger, Nebraska.
Some of you may remember the two EF-4 tornadoes that destroyed or damaged 75% of the small town in 2014. These tornadoes, along with two others on the same evening in June 2014, also impacted the surrounding communities of Winser, Stanton and Wakefield.
As CDP began setting up a vision and strategy for the Midwest Early Recovery Fund (ERF) in 2014, this area of Nebraska came sharply into focus. The priorities of recovery services funding for rural communities with significant losses and low capacity for access and absorption of resources continue to inform ERF strategies today.
Since that first grant for disaster case management, we have supported recovery services – disaster case management, volunteer coordination, recovery coordination and construction coordination – in hundreds of communities across ERF’s 10-state region. Grants from ERF have also supported work with children, psychosocial support, needs assessment, legal services and specialized services for non-native English speakers. From 2015 to 2023, ERF awarded $9,559,076.03 through 139 grants.
Expanding our impact in 2023
In 2023, we continued our work funding and supporting communities impacted by low-attention disasters, awarding $1.18 million in grants to 13 organizations. In the first half of 2023, we awarded $890,173 in grants to 10 organizations working to provide essential recovery services for nine low-attention disasters across five states and one Native Nation. In the second half of the year, we awarded the following:
- Cheyenne River Long Term Recovery Group (CRLTRG) received a $66,000 grant to support recovery coordination, disaster case management, housing assessment and project management as the CRLTRG works to assist members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the surrounding community with recovery from multiple severe storms.
- Rose Rock Habitat for Humanity received a $82,500 grant to support hiring a construction manager and the rebuild/repair of 24 houses for economically disadvantaged households in response to a 2023 tornado in the Shawnee, Oklahoma, area.
- Recovering Oklahomans After Disaster received $150,000 to support staffing capacity for home repair work after multiple 2023 severe storms throughout Oklahoma. Funding comes from the Midwest Early Recovery Fund and CDP’s Tornado Recovery Fund.
Looking ahead to 2024: Grantmaking and engagement
Two grants, in process at the end of 2023, were awarded in January 2024.
- Plum Foundation was awarded a $110,000 grant to support disaster case management, housing and the psychosocial needs of Cross County, Arkansas residents, in response to the March 31, 2023, tornadoes.
- Equal Justice Works received a $75,028 grant to support a legal fellow in Missouri. They will provide legal services to low-income and immigrant families as they recover from tornadoes, storms and flooding.
Long-term recovery is just beginning for many of these 2023-2024 grantee partners working in communities impacted by low-attention disasters. We will continue to support them through funding and connection to expertise and other resources, even as we begin to engage new communities and partners in 2024. We look forward to the incredible impact each of these grantee partners will make as they work toward equitable recovery.