In 2017, Northeast Florida was hit with a devastating storm, Hurricane Irma. This Category 5 storm wreaked havoc to Baker, Clay, Duval and Nassau counties, leaving many without power, their homes damaged or stranded in a hotel out of state. Catholic Charities responded immediately, deploying our Disaster Relief services in partnership with United Way 2-1-1 and the First Coast Relief Fund efforts.
We are proud to have been able to provide services to 472 households in our community by providing mortgage/ rent assistance, utility assistance, shelter/temporary housing, food, water, clothing and other immediate needs such as hygiene kits, mattresses, nebulizers, and refrigerators.
After the short-term needs were addressed, Catholic Charities moved into long-term recovery efforts. In working with other non-profit agencies in the wake of Hurricane Irma, we identified the need for long-term disaster case management, which continues to focus on home repairs that have not yet been addressed.
“Being one of the oldest emergency assistance providers in the City of Jacksonville,” said Lauren Weedon Hopkins, Regional Director of Catholic Charities Jacksonville, “we are grateful that our ongoing partnership with American Red Cross and Builders Care to help Hurricane Irma victims has led to so many lives being restored.” Mrs. Hopkins echoed comments recently made by Council member Michael Boylan: “We are, without question, the last bastion for these people.”
Our caseworkers are working with agencies within Jacksonville’s Long-Term Recovery Organization (LTRO) to screen and prioritize those homes that are in most need of repairs to make them habitable and healthy. Below is a success story covered in the Florida Times Union that features one of our clients that we are so happy to say is back home and her home is repaired.
To make a contribution to support our efforts to provide local support during a disaster like a hurricane, you can donate now by clicking here.
To learn more about our long term recovery work, visit our disaster relief page.