Right now, almost three years after Hurricane Irma struck Florida, there are Northeast Florida families who during this pandemic are still living in storm-damaged homes with conditions deteriorating around them. Often with no insurance and limited assistance received from FEMA, these households were referred to the Northeast Florida Long-Term Recovery Organization (NFLTRO) and its partners. The NFLTRO Unmet Needs Roundtable was established to consider cases for assistance for families who had nowhere else to turn when other assistance programs had exhausted their funds. These families, most of whom reside in underserved urban core neighborhoods, typically live well below poverty guidelines and barely make ends meet for basic needs, much less for costly repairs. In fact, the average cost of repairs ($15,000) is almost as much as their average annual income at $17,609. 76% are over the age of 60 and 75% live on a fixed income. Some have young children. 45% are people with disabilities.
Through a collaborative home repair program that utilizes neighborhood-based Community Development Corporations and contractors to complete construction projects, the Unmet Needs Roundtable has addressed the home repairs of 63 families over the past eighteen months, at a total cost approaching $900,000. We have identified and vetted the needs of another 50 homes, families who only have our unmet needs process as their last hope of getting the necessary repairs. Successfully completing those 50 homes will cost an estimated $675,000. Here’s the good news. Volunteer Florida has awarded us a $450,000 grant that will provide a 2:1 match on local funding. With an average cost of $15,000 per home, a $5,000 investment will give a family a secure home to not only withstand future storm impacts, but also give them a safe refuge in the midst of the current pandemic.
Consider supporting our program today and forever change a family’s life!