Disaster case management program
for Hurricane Ike survivors launched
A disaster case management program to help survivors of Hurricane Ike recover from the devastating storm is being launched in Galveston County, Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response announced Tuesday, June 16.
The program is part of a $24.3 million grant to provide disaster case management services to more than 13,000 survivors of Hurricane Ike who live in 16 Texas counties devastated by the deadly storm, including more than 2,900 survivors in Galveston County. The grants are funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency and administered by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
LSSDR, which is based in Austin, has a track record of providing effective case management services. Following Hurricane Katrina, LSSDR worked with more than 10,600 families in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi to develop recovery plans.
“Often after a disaster like Hurricane Ike, survivors are overwhelmed by all the losses and devastation in their lives – home, vehicles, jobs, personal belongings and even the deaths or injuries of family and friends,” said Mark Minick, senior vice president of external relations for Lutheran Social Services. “As a result, they often have trouble figuring out where to even begin the process of rebuilding homes and lives.”
“This program puts 250 caseworkers on the ground in 16 counties over the next year to help them sort out what their needs are and to develop a realistic, achievable recovery plan,” Minick said. “The caseworkers partner with disaster survivors to help them work through that recovery plan, navigate bureaucracies and access available resources. The caseworkers also serve as the survivors’ advocates before long-term recovery committees and agencies that are providing long-term relief.”
“We are humbled by the opportunity to once again provide much-needed services to disaster victims, especially those who have the least resources as they work toward rebuilding their lives,” said Kurt Senske, president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services. “This is an excellent opportunity to take the lessons learned after Hurricane Katrina to work shoulder-to-shoulder with survivors and help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”
The LSSDR case management program, named Recovery for Ike Survivors Enterprise (RISE), is a collaborative network of 10 local agencies in 16 counties of southeast Texas, including Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Hardin, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Orange, Walker, Waller and Washington.
LSSDR and its partner agencies will work closely with local government officials, community organizations and others involved in Hurricane Ike relief efforts to match families in need with goods and services so they can rebuild their lives.
RISE partner agencies include Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response, Boat People SOS; Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, GMC Consultants LLC; G.R.A.C.E. Community Services; Gulf Coast Center; ICNA Relief USA; Mainland Children’s Partnership; Southeast Texas Interfaith Organization; Society of St. Vincent de Paul - Beaumont/Dallas; and United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Houston.
To be eligible for services, individuals must:
- Be a Hurricane Ike survivor and currently living in one of the 16 counties served by RISE
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
- Not be receiving case management services from the Disaster Assistance Housing Program (DHAP)
Partner agencies for Galveston County are Boat People SOS; Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston; G.R.A.C.E. Community Services; Gulf Coast Center; ICNA Relief USA and Mainland Children’s Partnership.
For information about case management services in your area, please call 1- 888-IKE-RISE (1-888-453-7473) or visit http://www.texasrise.org/.
LSSDR is an affiliated program of Lutheran Social Services of the South, a multi-faceted social service agency that serves more than 35,000 people annually throughout Texas and Louisiana. Programs include disaster response, foster care, international and domestic adoption, unplanned pregnancy services, post-adoption services, independent and assisted living, skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services, adult day care, geriatric care management and emergency assistance. LSSDR provides services without regard to religion, gender, ethnicity or race.