EDF Grants Help Begin New Disaster Rebuilding Site in Detroit

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed recent grants from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to begin a new rebuilding project site following flooding in Detroit, Michigan; to continue an ongoing rebuilding project site in Colorado; and to help support the work of Brethren volunteers at an ecumenical Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI) in South Carolina.

An allocation of $45,000 has opened a new Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project in northwest Detroit, where record flooding was caused by a large storm system that drenched the area with up to six inches of rain in just a few hours on Aug. 11, 2014. More than 129,000 homes in the greater Detroit area were damaged, and FEMA declared it the worst disaster of 2014. Currently there are still families living in homes that have not been cleaned and sanitized, in many cases with mold presenting a very serious health hazard. The Northwest Detroit Recovery Project has been working on the northwest side of the city for almost a year, but the group that had been providing volunteers to complete the work concluded their project at the end of January.

This grant funds the expenses for Brethren Disaster Ministries to start up the project, including the expenses of moving equipment and setting up volunteer housing; the first several months of operational expenses related to volunteer support; and specific mold remediation equipment and gear required for the safety and health of volunteers. A portion of the grant may go to the Northwest Detroit Recovery Project to help with construction materials as the group searches for other funding to continue the work.

An additional allocation of $45,000 continues funding for a Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project in northeast Colorado following flooding caused by heavy rains in September 2013. Brethren Disaster Ministries started repair projects in May 2015, with volunteer housing first located in Greeley, then in Loveland. In June the location for volunteer housing will move to First United Methodist Church in Loveland, where it will stay until August when the project is expected to close.

Since October 2015, Brethren Disaster Ministries has worked almost exclusively with the Larimer County Long Term Recovery Group in the county where the current housing site is located. In February, work also began with the Loveland Housing Authority and Boulder County Long Term Recovery Group.

South Carolina
A grant of $5,000 provides financial assistance to Church of the Brethren volunteers serving on the Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI) in South Carolina, where Brethren Disaster Ministries is working through a partnership with the United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The DRSI project is repairing homes damaged in flooding in October 2015. The partnering agencies of the DRSI have been awarded $87,500 in grant money for the construction materials needed to contribute to the rebuilding work. Each group is responsible for providing their own vehicles, food, and a $50 per person per week housing fee that is given to the hosting location. In an effort to encourage Brethren volunteers to support the project, Brethren Disaster Ministries would like to offer financial assistance. Funds will be used, when requested, to pay the host site the $50 per person weekly fee.

Find out more about the Emergency Disaster Fund at www.brethren.org/edf .

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