HURRICANE IKE RECOVERY
$35 million SSBG – Historic Collaboration Assisted 477,344 Clients and Created 255 Jobs
GALVESTON, Texas – The SSBG Return on Investment report was delivered to an audience of more than 125 government officials, social service agency executives and interested residents at the Galveston Island Convention Center at the San Luis, on Tuesday, September 13.
Dr. Ben Raimer, Senior Vice President, UTMB Health, opened the event by marking the third anniversary of Hurricane Ike’s landfall. Dr. Raimer paid tribute to the more than 60 different social service agencies that collaborated on the $35 million SSBG (Social Services Block Grant) to help communities in Galveston and Brazoria Counties rebuild and assist residents in reclaiming their lives after the storm. He stated that “Without this funding many of our vital social service agencies would not have survived Ike – leaving thousands of families in need without the essentials to move forward.”
Approximately $35 million in SSBG funding for Galveston and Brazoria Counties, awarded through the Houston-Galveston Area Council, was administered by four lead agencies: Catholic Charities, Gulf Coast Center, Lutheran Social Services and UTMB Health, who organized a collaboration of more than 60 agencies. As a result, more than 477,344 clients were served and 255 jobs were created from the SSBG funds.
Marjorie McColl Petty, regional director for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, guest speaker, commended all participants of the collaboration and acknowledged the historic union of service agencies and their successful outreach.
Steve Howard, Chief Operating Officer, Houston-Galveston Area Council, explained the funding process and the uniqueness of the collaborative grant application. Following a brief outcome report delivered by Kathy Tiernan, Outcomes Manager, Office of UTMB Health Policy and Legislative Affairs, presentations were made Mike Winburn, Executive Director and Carolyn Rose, Chief Administrator, Gulf Coast Center; Joe Compian, Gulf Coast Interfaith; Mark Minick, Senior Vice President, Lutheran Social Services; and Harold Fattig, Catholic Charities. The program closed with a performance by David Mitchell, The Jesse Tree, who sang “I Believe I Can Fly” in tribute to the many social service agencies who were able to spread their wings to envelope those of us in desperate need following Hurricane Ike.
A final report will be delivered at the close of the SSBG grant cycle in one month.