Rebuilding Homes - Current Projects

May 20, 2020 COVID-19 Update

All BDM rebuilding sites are currently suspended for weekly volunteers. The BDM site in the Carolinas that was previously planned to close Aug 2 will now not reopen. Some Brethren volunteers may serve with another local partner in July but BDM will no longer host volunteers after conversations with local partners around COVID-19 concerns.

The remaining volunteers on the Puerto Rico site were cancelled for April 25-May 23. These were the last volunteers scheduled for Puerto Rico as the volunteer side of the project was set to finish on May 23. BDM work has resumed on approved homes on the island through local contractors and homeowners who can complete their own work. This site is scheduled to close completely at the end of June.

The location of Project 2 is officially scheduled to move to Dayton, Ohio for tornado recovery. BDM anticipates that the move and set up can take place for a July 12, 2020 opening date of the BDM project. For at least July, volunteers are limited to Ohio residents and no volunteer housing will be available. Any change to that requirement for volunteers and housing for August is yet to be confirmed.

All of the dates named are subject to future change depending on CDC guidance, restrictions from local officials in the project site areas and other states, and the local BDM partners in those areas being willing to accept volunteers. We are in close contact with these partners while monitoring when it will be acceptable to send volunteers without imposing any health concerns for our volunteers, the host community and most importantly the homeowners. If any further extension of these dates needs to be made in the coming weeks or months, it will be announced first with the groups and leaders on the schedule, and then publicly.

These schedules will be updated as decisions are made in the coming weeks and months.

BDM yard sign outside new build in Pulaski, VA, 2011.
Photo by Shannon Pratt-Harrington

“Every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.” Heb. 3:4

A disaster can destroy not only homes, but also the sense of well-being for survivors.  Brethren Disaster Ministries recruits volunteers, led by faith, to use their skills to promote recovery.

Trained, skilled project leaders supervise volunteers as they extend a helping hand to clean up debris and restore the homes of disaster survivors in need. The presence of these volunteer work teams helps to ease trauma and promote recovery. 

Carolinas, Hurricane Matthew Response

Hurricane Matthew hit the east coast of the United States, including both North and South Carolina in October 2016. Marion County, S.C. experienced wind gusts of up to 60 mph and received 10-12 inches of rain, with some areas measuring as much as 17.8 inches. Hurricane Matthew did an estimated $4.8 billion in damage to 50 counties in North Carolina.

BDM has been working in Marion County, S.C. and some surrounding counties since September 2017. Since April 2018, BDM is working out of a housing site in Lumberton, NC to serve homeowners in both states who are still recovering from this storm or the flooding that happened because of it. This rebuilding site was scheduled to close on August 2, 2020 but has closed early due to COVID-19 concerns.

Dayton OH, Spring 2019 Tornados

In the state of Ohio, Memorial Day weekend 2019 brought record breaking tornado activity. The National Weather Service recorded 19 tornadoes on May 27-28. Three of tornados were EF-3 with windspeeds between 136-165 mph and one EF-4 tornado carried winds up to 170 mph, spanned over a ½ mile wide, and traveled over 20 miles. The twisters affected 10 counties across the state damaging over 7,000 homes with over 1,500 of these destroyed. Most of the property damage occurred in the Miami Valley areas of Harrison Township, Trotwood, Northridge, Old North Dayton, Brookville, Beavercreek, and Celina. More than 1,400 trees were toppled blocking roadway access.

The BDM project will be located in Dayton, Ohio to help with the rebuilding efforts in the Miami Valley area. See project details

Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria Recovery

Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 as a Category 4 storm with 155-mph winds, causing an estimated $90 billion in damage to infrastructure, services, agriculture and structures, and leaving Puerto Ricans with little or no consistent access to power, safe water, and resources.

All seven of Church of the Brethren congregations in Puerto Rico, and their communities, were among those affected by the hurricanes. BDM began partnering with the Church of the Brethren Puerto Rico district immediately following the hurricane by providing emergency funding and materials. BDM is currently working with the district Recovery Committee on a home repair and construction program to benefit church members and their communities. See project details

Local Response and Short-term Response

Information on volunteer needs for local and short-term area responses and individual work weeks can be found on the Short-term Response page. Currently, there are no Short-Term Response weeks available but more volunteer opportunities are being planned.