Local Disaster Recovery Organization Going Dormant

Wayne County’s nonprofit disaster recovery organization is going into stasis until the next major disaster leaves residents in need.

Long Term Disaster Recovery-Wayne County (LTDR-WC), a coalition of organizations and agencies, assisted more than 340 survivors of Hurricanes Matthew and Florence to ensure they have safe, sanitary, sound, and functional living conditions. Around $220,000 in donated funds have been expended in the two-and-a-half years since this round of assistance began.

At the same time that available funds have been depleted, the number of requests for assistance have also diminished.

“We truly believe that now is the best time to end our service,” said LTDR-WC Chair Barbara Stiles. “We are confident that we have done the most good for the most people with the assets that we had at our disposal.”

Per its bylaws, LTDR-WC has completed its existing projects and is going dormant but is ready to be re-activated if needed. The organization’s part-time director’s last day is March 28 and the loaned office space will be returned to The Salvation Army in Goldsboro.

“As we close the doors, we know we have done our best to assist survivors as they move forward in recovery,” said LTDR-WC Chair Barbara Stiles.

Any further Wayne County residents impacted by Hurricane Florence who determine they need assistance may request disaster case management services from provider Endeavors. Those needs may be financial, physical, emotional or spiritual, or referrals for materials and/or manpower. To contact the Endeavors, email dcmnc@endeavors.org or call 910-378-4913.

Another option for individuals and families affected by Hurricane Florence that are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness is the Back@Home initiative. Its goal is to transition people from unsafe housing to safe and sustainable longer-term housing. To reach Back@Home, dial 2-1-1 and complete an assessment or email backathome@nchfa.com.

Response to Matthew and Florence

In addition to rebuilding and repairing homes, LTDR-WC replaced HVAC units, major appliances, furniture, and furnishings. A variety of other unmet needs, including rental, utility, and security deposits were covered.

LTDR-WC also provided counseling, advice, referrals to countless agencies, especially mental health, in addition to assistance with complicated FEMA, CDBG and HUD forms.

“Strategic collaboration has enabled us to stretch our dollars and to use the strengths and expertise of each group. We have partnered with faith-based organizations like North Carolina Baptist Men, St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, The Salvation Army, and Lutheran Disaster Services,” reported Director Debbie Jones. “The Baptist Men alone contributed thousands of hours of skilled labor to repair and rebuild homes for 52 homeowners in Wayne County.”

“Grants from national, regional and local agencies and organizations, as well as in-kind services have made it possible to distribute $220,000 in direct assistance to worthy families,” she said. “We give special thanks to major contributions from The Salvation Army, The American Red Cross, United Way of Wayne County, The North Carolina Community Foundation, The Community Foundation of Wayne County, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and the faith community.”

About Long Term Disaster Recovery–Wayne County

Long Term Disaster Recovery–Wayne County is a coalition of nonprofit, voluntary, and faith organizations, and government agencies with a mission of providing or assuring access to recovery services and addressing unmet needs for Wayne County residents affected by disasters.

LTDR-WC was established following Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and assisted survivors of that storm until 2002. It was reactivated in response to Hurricane Matthew in the fall of 2016 and transitioned to serving residents impacted by Hurricane Florence in September 2018. The collaborating partners remain ready to respond so the LTDR-WC can be easily reactivated if another disaster warrants it.