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ERD provides support following Irma

Assistance for low-income, homeless survivors in Southeastern US

September 20, 2017

Episcopal Relief & Development is providing emergency assistance in affected dioceses in Georgia and Florida, while continuing to support partners in the Caribbean in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 storm and the second major storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, made landfall in Florida on September 10th after devastating parts of the Caribbean, including the Virgin Islands, Haiti and Puerto Rico. The storm caused massive destruction and left thousands without power and water. More than 80 deaths have been reported.In partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, Episcopal Relief & Development is providing critical support to low income residents as well as other vulnerable groups, including children, youth, seniors and those with special needs, living in Camden, Glynn,

In partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, Episcopal Relief & Development is providing critical support to low income residents as well as other vulnerable groups, including children, youth, seniors and those with special needs, living in Camden, Glynn, McIntosh and Chatham counties. Residents will receive gift cards to help purchase food, clothing, bedding, medical supplies, gas for transportation and materials for repairs and rebuilding. Housing and rental assistance are also being given to those displaced by the storm while others will receive building supplies and tools, moving supplies, transportation and tarps. In addition, the diocese is supporting general cleanup efforts with local crews and coordinating the securing and moving of property with local officials, community leaders and volunteers.

The Diocese of Georgia posted a message from the bishop on its website. “We’re thankful to Episcopal Relief & Development for their rapid response to our urgent need for funds to help those who have crucial needs in our communities,” said Bishop Scott Anson Benhase of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. “The funds they’ve provided, along with funds given locally, will allow us ‘love our neighbor’ in very concrete and practical ways. Love is an action verb, not merely a state of being. We’re striving to make our love active.”

Episcopal Relief & Development is also working with the Episcopal Diocese of Florida through an existing ministry within the diocese, Church Without Walls, to provide tents, bedding, clothing and personal items for 150 homeless individuals who lost their belongings in the storm. Located in Jacksonville, Church Without Walls reaches people through weekly outdoor prayer and worship services that welcome all to share their unique gifts in community.

Through the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida, the organization is offering gift cards, cleanup supplies and shelter for impacted residents and disaster recovery crews. The diocese is planning to provide space for a recovery event to include FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the American Red Cross, opening a shelter for those who have been displaced by the storm and offering food, power and Wi-Fi to the local community on a daily basis.Thousands were left homeless and with few resources within communities that are part of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida. Considered one of the most culturally diverse dioceses within the Episcopal Church, the diocese includes Miami, Fort L

Thousands were left homeless and with few resources within communities that are part of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida. Considered one of the most culturally diverse dioceses within the Episcopal Church, the diocese includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach and covers a population from the wealthy to the homeless to migrant workers. The diocese has a strong outreach component including 40 ministries led by Episcopal Charities in Southeast Florida. In partnership with the Diocese of Southeast Florida, Episcopal Relief & Development is supplying support for food, bedding, hygiene items and other critical items for vulnerable families, the homeless, seniors, youth and children.

“Our daily communications with impacted dioceses have been essential to assessing local needs and how best to help our partners in the initial relief phase,” notes Katie Mears, Director of the US Disaster Team. “We have early check-in calls which enables us to stay on top of any new developments or challenges.”

In the Caribbean, Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting relief efforts in Puerto Rico by partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico to provide temporary housing, medical care, food and meal delivery as well as other support. While needs assessments are still underway in the Caribbean, staff are coordinating with ecumenical and humanitarian partners to get emergency supplies into the Virgin Islands.

Two other hurricanes are on the horizon this week. Hurricane Maria, which continues to gain in strength, is a potentially catastrophic Category 5 storm moving towards Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It is expected to make landfall with powerful winds and flooding within the next 24 hours. Residents are being warned to remove debris which can turn into projectiles due to heavy winds. The National Hurricane Center is advising that rainfall could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Also, Hurricane Jose, downgraded to a tropical storm, is expected to hit the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts with heavy winds, rain and minor to moderate coastal flooding beginning this evening.

“We are very concerned about Hurricane Maria,” said Abagail Nelson, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Vice President of Programs. “These storms can be unpredictable and in light of the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, this storm has the potential to cause even more destruction and harm. Please continue to pray for people impacted by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean and US, and for all those in the path of Hurricane Maria.”Contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Hurricane Relief Fund will help support

Contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Hurricane Relief Fund will help support church and other local partners as they provide critical emergency assistance to those most in need.


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Church leader describes suffering

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ERD responds to urgent PR needs


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