As we enter the busiest part of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy team is hard at work helping to educate and inform the philanthropic community about how best to support recovery for the countries and communities that have been devastated by Hurricane Dorian. And our CDP 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund will help organizations working in mid- to long-term recovery in the Bahamas, the Carolinas and any other areas that are hit by storms before the season ends. Assisting with recovery efforts. This is what we do. This is our mission.
But what might surprise you is that, while we are working on securing funds for recovery from 2019 storms now, we are also STILL focused on sustaining the long-term recovery of the communities that were affected by Hurricane Harvey (2017) and other disasters that hit communities worldwide in previous years. In fact, the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund has just granted four additional organizations, a total of $1,063,670, so that these organizations can continue Texas’ holistic recovery from one of the most devastating storms in recent history.
4B Disaster Response Network – With $350,000, 4B will be able to expand volunteer home repair operations by increasing volunteer engagement and organizational capacity to complete repairs in 220 homes. 4B Disaster Response Network is one of the largest and oldest faith-based disaster response networks working through the Houston Responds (a round four CDP Harvey Fund grantee) coalitions.
Hope Disaster Recovery – Hope is also a member of the Houston Responds recovery network. They received $350,000 to expand current operations in order to provide low-cost, volunteer-driven home rebuild operations, increase mobilization of their volunteers and provide staffing support to the volunteers in order to facilitate the full home rebuild process.
Mental Health America of Greater Houston – MHA Houston received $163,670 to complete the funding to establish the Dickinson Mental Health Project, a collaborative effort with the Hackett Centre at the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, DePelchin Children’s Centre, Texas Children’s Hospital (a CDP Harvey Fund grantee), Collaborative for Children and other local partners. We are partnering again with the Rebuild Texas Fund to address the mental health needs of the students and families of the Dickinson Independent School District (DISD). Dickinson, Texas saw significant damage from Hurricane Harvey. The trauma and grief it created for the children, youth, teachers, staff and parents within the school district continues to affect the entire community. I’m happy to report there is potential for this project to be replicated in other communities as well.
Team Rubicon – Awarded $200,000, Team Rubicon will continue their rebuild operations in Hurricane Harvey affected areas, extending their operations to a third year for those still struggling to recover. This funding will allow them to sustain the work they’ve been able to do here in the greater Houston area since recovery first began. Though Team Rubicon’s work started as a clean-up or “muck and gut” operation, they quickly saw the need to do more and began their rebuild program. They’ve become an important partner in helping our communities recover. Our hope is to support this essential work here in Texas to build on their abilities to respond similarly in future disasters, both domestically and internationally.
It is bittersweet to say this will likely be the last full grant funding round for the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund. There is a bit more than $850,000 remaining to be granted, however, at the direction of our advisory committee and the CDP Board, we will use those funds to address any remaining needs of the grantees we have previously funded. As you can imagine, most of the other funding from other sources for Harvey recovery has long been distributed. We will use what we have left to keep the good work of recovery moving forward among those groups with whom we have already been working over these past two years. So bittersweet because we know good progress has been made but we recognize there is still a lot to be done.
I continue to be grateful for the opportunity to help build resilience through sustained recovery in Texas. And, my thoughts are with those who are just now beginning this journey in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and who might still be affected this year by storms just developing. I am comforted knowing that my CDP colleagues will be there to support those communities that are most in need, just as those needs are the greatest.