Why Does Gulf County Need Long Term Recovery....
OCTOBER 10, 2018, GULF COUNTY WAS CATASTROPHICALLY IMPACTED BY A CATAGORY 5 HURRICANE, HURRICANE MICHAEL.
Disasters like Hurricane Michael don’t affect all communities the same. Communities with high poverty rates are especially vulnerable. People who are elderly, disabled, who have mobility impairments, special medical issues, lack transportation, or are financially challenged are more at risk for health and financial crises in a natural disaster area and require more assistance to recover.
In April of 2019, World Renew Disaster Response Services deployed to Gulf County for two weeks and conducted a community needs assessment. The results confirmed that housing, especially among our vulnerable elderly population, is the number one issue.
Gulf County has a disproportional number of elderly residents and these residents make up 4.9% of the county's population living below the poverty line, which is higher than the national average.
As of last assessment [mid 2021], many residents/families in our community still live in damaged homes, homes that are uninhabitable, or they are completely displaced. Many live in travel trailers, homeless shelters, non traditional make-shift structures such as tents and sheds, or are "couch surfing" among family and friends.
Who We Are and What We Do....
Long Term Recovery from disasters, such as Hurricane Michael, begin and end within the locally impacted communities. Gulf County's citizens realized there was a great need for creating an organization to identify and address the unmet needs of individuals and families and recognized the need for a resource to connect them with organizations and individuals who can best help.
The CGCRT was founded in January 2019 and received a non-profit 501-3c status in August 2019.
The CGCRT helps identify, vet, and manage multiple cases, including non-disaster related, and pursues resources (money, materials, & muscle) and coordinates with partners, service providers, and volunteers to fulfill the unmet needs, prioritizing safe housing.
IN PROGRESS - REPORT CARD....
Ongoing efforts continue to include:
Tarping and re-tarping roofs of structures awaiting permanent roofing solutions
Roofing repair and replacement
Minor structural repair and connecting with resources for major structural and interior repair
Construction and repair for safe access to homes such as, ramps, porches, railings, etc.
Property clean-up of storm related debris and preparation for housing
Assisting with replacement of permanent housing
Referral and advocacy for resources for food, health services, furniture, appliances, household goods, clothing, utilities, transportation services, etc.
The continual pursuit and management of program resources and funding
Continual Case & Project Management
Collaboration with Volunteers and other Partner Resources to achieve the above...