Leveraging Partnerships For Disaster Recovery


This is the fourth in a series of articles as part of the Bishop’s Appeal for Disaster Recovery for ongoing work needed for survivors of the June 2016 West Virginia flooding. Visit wvumc.org/disaster-recovery to learn more about how you can participate in our continuing efforts.

A note from Rev. JF Lacaria & Rev. Jack Lipphardt, WVUMC Disaster Recovery Directors:

Thank you for considering giving to the Bishop’s Special Appeal for Disaster Recovery as we continue to keep our promises to survivors of the June 2016 flooding in West Virginia. That promise is to stand with UMCOR and with disaster survivors as long as it takes for recovery. The goal for this Special Appeal is to help leverage UMCOR monies and our partnerships with other agencies to maximize aid for families who are still recovering.

Through WV VOAD, we are in partnership with RISE WV. The criteria for eligibility for a repaired or replaced home with RISE WV are strict and follow federal regulations that are inflexible. Because of this, we are already receiving referrals and anticipate numerous others for families who do not meet the eligibility requirements and will need other assistance.

When we determine that families were survivors of the 2016 floods and are eligible for help using UMCOR dollars, we will step in and help them reach their full recovery. In some instances, this may mean replacing a house with our construction partners. In others it will mean making repairs to a house where RISE has recommended replacement but our analysis indicates that the replacement house will be inferior to repairing the home they love. It may involve relocation, which RISE WV cannot do. It also may mean helping a family with a financial impediment, such as a delinquent utility bill, so that RISE WV will build a new house (it is cheaper, and we believe more responsible to donors, for us to pay an electric bill in arrears than to build or repair a damaged home that RISE would otherwise build if the arrearage is cleared).

With $1,000,000 for direct recovery expenses (i.e., unmet needs), we anticipate the following need based on our current experience:

  1. new complete house builds to replace homes destroyed: 5@$60,000 = $300,000
  2. major rehabilitation of homes or the acquisition of purchased homes: 12@$30,000 = $360,000
  3. significant repair to existing homes: 20@$10,000 = $200,000
  4. minor repairs, appliances, furniture, etc.: 20@$5000 = $100,000
  5. clearance of financial factors to make case RISE WV eligible: 20@$2000 = $60,000

We are meeting regularly with WV VOAD and RISE WV to inventory and monitor as accurately as possible the survivor family cases as they move through RISE WV eligibility. We have already received 20 active referrals of families who do not meet the federal regulations. We expect many others as WV RISE gets up to speed and survivor families are excluded by eligibility tests governed by federal regulation. Our goal is:

  1. to become financial partners with RISE WV where our average contribution of approximately $2,000 assures that the family will receive their new house or mobile home
  2. to anticipate and understand completely those cases that will exit the RISE WV program without receiving a new house or mobile home, or repairs to their existing home, and still be in need of long-term recovery assistance so that we can assure that they live in a safe, sanitary, and secure dwelling
  3. to help provide furniture, appliances, and other needs not covered by RISE construction or mobile home placement to make the home livable.

Click here to view Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball’s appeal for continued giving for Disaster Recovery.

View stories about ongoing recovery and how you can participate at this link.