Four months after the tornadoes that killed more than 240 people and destroyed homes and communities across our state, calls continue to come in to the 2-1-1 information line about tornado-related needs. According to reports at a recent meeting of the Central Alabama Long Term Recovery Committee, calls over a recent two-week period resulted in 120 cases assigned for assistance.
Once these families and individuals are assigned to a case manager, they get the opportunity to talk through their needs with someone who can help them make an effective plan and plug them into resources.
Needs are being met in a variety of ways, including volunteer construction and repair through by Mennonite Disaster Services and Habitat for Humanity, by housing from Salvation Army and other providers and by direct funding to bridge gaps. When recent cases came to the LTRC, support was offered by the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, United Way of Central Alabama, Faith Chapel, UAB Forgivable Loan program, Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley, Episcopal Diocese and HERO (Harbert Employees Reaching Out).
FEMA is still part of the process, providing help to agencies whose clients are appealing their claims and allowing case managers a way to check for duplicate benefits. During the final three weeks before the extended deadline for FEMA applications, an additional 1,485 people registered for assistance with FEMA.
If you want to be part of supporting unmet needs through the Community Foundation, consider a gift to one of these grantmaking funds: Alabama Tornado Recovery Fund (serving affected counties across Alabama) or Emergency Response Fund (serving Birmingham region). You can make a gift on line in any amount or contact Lora Terry on our staff to find out how you can give from an Advised Fund or using another asset.