South Carolina residents still recovering from last fall’s historic storm now can get more extensive long-term help through a new case management system.
A $6 million Federal Emergency Management Agency grant will pay for 42 case managers who will speak one-on-one with residents and connect them with recovery organizations that can help.
Case managers from Heart & Hands Disaster Recovery, a New Jersey-based nonprofit, will work with each survivor to develop a long-term recovery plan and help them stay on track. Flood survivors can dial 2-1-1 to have their information entered into the system.
“It’s more of a one-on-one service,” said Falon Alo, executive director of Hearts & Hands. “Long-term disaster recovery is a complex system that will morph and change as time goes on. There are different resources available today than will be available a month from now and six months from now.”
It’s more of a one-on-one service.”
Falon Alo, executive director of Hearts & Hands Disaster Recovery
Before this system, flooding survivors who called 2-1-1 were given only a list of organizations and nonprofits working on rebuilding after the storm, officials say. Residents still had to find help on their own.
Case managers will take a more active role, officials say.
“The idea is to cut down on having the residents have to make a million phone calls to get someone on the line who understands this process,” Alo said.
More than 43,000 flood-affected South Carolina residents have called the helpline since the Oct. 4 storm, United Way spokeswoman Natasha Jenkins said.
“With a disaster of this magnitude, it will still take some time for long-term recovery groups to begin the disaster case management process, but flood victims should know that they have not been forgotten,” Richard LaPratt, vice president of Contact Center Services at United Way Association of South Carolina, said in a statement.
... Flood victims should know that they have not been forgotten.”
Richard LaPratt, vice president of Contact Center Services at United Way Association of South Carolina
The program is set to extend to February 2018 but could be extended, Alo said. Not everyone who calls the helpline will be eligible for case management.
But the goal, according to state Emergency Management Division spokesman Derrec Becker, is to reach survivors who need one-on-one assistance.
“We just want to make sure that there’s nobody out there who needs help and isn’t getting it right now,” Becker said.