– FEMA has approved Vermont’s request for $373,000 in additional funding for the Disaster Case Management Program helping individuals and families still recovering from Tropical Storm Irene. The funds will be used to hire 3 construction cost estimators to coordinate construction work needed for remaining home repair projects for Irene survivors. The coordinators will be hired through the Central Vermont Community Action Council, lead provider agency for the DCM Program, and assigned to Long Term Recovery Committees around the state. Together with $255,000 of state funds pending legislative approval in the Budget Adjustment Act for additional construction and volunteer coordinators, these funds will greatly accelerate work on an estimated 250 remaining rebuilding and repair cases.
“We are very excited that this grant, along with the expected state funding, will help us to meet our objective of completing all rebuilding projects for Irene survivors by the storm’s 2nd anniversary, ensuring that all individuals and families impacted by the storm are in safe, secure, and sanitary housing,” said state Irene Recovery Officer, Dave Rapaport.
The federal funds approved this week are a supplement to the $2.5 million grant Vermont received in February 2012, which has funded eleven disaster case managers and support staff to provide case management to Irene survivors. Case managers are working with 8 regional Long Term Recovery Committees on about 375 remaining open cases across the state. Under the original grant, CVCAC has employed a Construction Analyst who has been successful at coordinating and managing resources available at the State level that might not otherwise have made it to the local client level without his intervention.
“This supplemental funding will help complete repair and rebuild projects and strategically place and coordinate volunteers to aid in the recovery process,” said Bob Costantino, who oversees the DCM Program at the Vermont Department of Children and Families. “The ability to add skilled construction coordinators to work at this critical point in the process where DCMP Case Managers need to have completed recovery plans to be matched with funding sources and volunteer or paid labor, will help us to move clients more quickly and efficiently to recovery and bring more cases to closure.”
The supplemental FEMA funding will also be used by CVCAC to employ an additional Data Clerk to support the Case Managers so they can focus on the often intensive work with clients.