The following press release was issued by the Keweenaw Community Foundation:
The Keweenaw Community Foundation is still committed to working with our community to recover from the Father’s Day Flood of 2018. The donations that were entrusted to the KCF have been utilized to support the flood relief efforts and victims. To date over $300,000 has been utilized for assisting those affected by the flood by helping them getting back in their homes; temporary housing; transportation; mold abatement; and more. 109 families applied for and received help in the first two phases of the recovery process, receiving assistance immediately after the flood. The KCF also wishes to acknowledge the people and business within our community and further afield who contributed to relief efforts through individual fundraising initiatives and contributions to the relief fund.
We are working with community agencies and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in assisting those affected through the disaster case managers funded by UMCOR. If you still need help recovering from the 2018 Father’s Day Flood, there are Disaster Case Managers available, continuing to work with the community to provide relief.
The Michigan Conference of United Methodist Church found that various community leaders and nonprofit agencies agreed some residents slipped through the cracks when it came to finding relief from the Father’s Day Flood, and there was a need for trained Disaster Case Managers to assist in the long-term recovery efforts. As a result, the Michigan Conference reached out for a grant from the United Methodist Committee on Relief for two Disaster Case Managers for the Copper Country. UMCOR is the humanitarian disaster recovery arm of the Michigan Conference United Methodist Church.
Two Disaster Case Managers, Marci Vivian and Dennis Leopold, began their long-term recovery efforts in October 2018 and will work for a year to assist Copper Country residents from the effects of the June flooding. Marci and Dennis have been reaching out to the community by phone and going on home visits to verify any unmet needs that can be directly associated with losses due to the disaster. The goal is to get a household back to the condition it was prior to flooding in a confidential manner.
According to FEMA, there are five phases of disaster response: Readiness, Rescue, Relief, Recovery, and Review. Each additional phase takes longer to complete. We are currently in the fourth stage of Recovery where we are still repairing and rebuilding. Eventually, once the Review stage is reached, KCF will assist in convening an assessment of the relief efforts. The goal being to come full circle to a position of Readiness, creating a more resilient community.
The Case Managers connect the residents-in-need to appropriate organizations and walk them through their full recovery process. There seems to be a common misconception that our government provides the disaster relief funds, when in fact, it is the local community dollars aiding in the recovery. To date, the case managers have partnered with Keweenaw Community Foundation, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Portage Lake United Church, and various services in our community such as the Copper Country Strong website, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Houghton-Keweenaw County Veterans Affairs, Copper Country Mental Health Services, Dial Help, SKY, HEET, and St Vincent DePaul.
Vivian and Leopold are based out of the Huntington Bank building in Hancock and can be reached by phone: (906) 231-6856. They are looking for volunteers to help them conduct home visits and skilled laborers to help with home repair.
Funds for flood recovery are being collected through the Keweenaw Community Foundation, community members can donate to by contacting the community foundation at (906) 482-9673.