CSSMV and Our Community Respond to Adversity
An update from CEO Laura Roesch
Following the Memorial Day tornado outbreak, Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley (CSSMV) received a spontaneous outpouring of financial support and offers of assistance for those who had been impacted by this devastating natural disaster. In the days and weeks immediately following the tornadoes, our focus was on providing emergency and supplemental food, clothing vouchers, and financial assistance for housing-related expenses such as deposits, first month’s rent, utility fees, and furniture.
As our emphasis has shifted to long-term recovery, we’ve begun building a team that’s focused on providing long-term case management for people impacted by the tornadoes. Initial phone calls for help are being received by United Way’s HelpLink 2-1-1 staff, who complete a screening and quick assessment which is then emailed to CSSMV for distribution to caseworkers. As of October 7, we’d already received 131 referrals. Thanks to funding from the Dayton Foundation, CSSMV has hired a full-time manager for our Long-term Recovery Case Management program, and we’re in the process of hiring additional case managers.
More than 850 households are expected to need long-term help to achieve a full recovery. With our current level of staffing, and a best-practices caseload expectation of 30 for this type of program, we are already at capacity. Requests for funding for additional case managers are underway with the City of Dayton, FEMA, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). In the meantime, our team is working diligently and prioritizing the most pressing needs. There is an urgency in the community to help as many households as possible with repair and rebuilding projects before winter weather arrives.
Our long-term recovery work is expected to last two years or more. We continue to learn about disaster response and are being well supported by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Catholic Charities USA, and our peers across the country who have experience responding to hurricanes, floods, fires and tornadoes. The spirit of collaboration and generosity in our region is outstanding. In addition to partners already mentioned, our local collaborators in service include the Salvation Army, American Red Cross Dayton Chapter, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton, Rebuilding Together Dayton, County Corp, Community Action Partnership, and many, many others.
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As of September 30, we had received more than half a million dollars in donations designated for tornado relief efforts. These funds are being used to assist impacted families and individuals throughout the region. While the majority of the damage was in Montgomery County, residents in Greene, Miami, and Mercer Counties were also affected.