Western Kentucky Flood Survivors Prepare to Return Home
Western, KY – A year ago today, Kentuckians experienced record-breaking storms and tornadoes that devastated Western Kentucky. Governor Andy Beshear recently stated ““I want them to remember the western Kentucky community and how many were lost. There are families still out there grieving and we need to be with them one year after and 10 years after.” The statistics on how many people that are still unhoused, jobs that will never comeback, and churches that will not be rebuilt are all devastating.
The purpose of today is not to focus on the problems, but to reflect, respond and celebrate on the humanitarian solutions.
One such solution that is bringing hope to western Kentucky families is the House In a Box™ program, led by the St. Vincent DePaul Diocesan Council of Western Kentucky. The House in a Box ™ program is one of the most well-known programs of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. House in a Box™ provides new furniture and furnishings to families that have lost everything because of disasters. Families are reviewed and referred to the program through a Disaster Case Management. Disaster Services Corporation, SVDP-USA (DSC) buys furniture and furnishings in volume through pre-screened vendors, so that it can provide a starter household furniture kit at a greatly reduced price. All logistics for the House in a Box™ Program are handled by DSC. Survivors that have the least resiliency for recovery will receive assistance through a House in a Box™ setup and/or additional in-kind donations. SVDP works with Disaster Case Managers to assess the survivors with preference given to those individuals who meet the following criteria: Low income, individuals/families that are likely to receive inequitable resources and services, special and functional needs, elderly on fixed income, uninsured or underinsured, single parents with limited income, and survivors who have multiple unmet needs and are unable to recover without Disaster Case Management.
St. Vincent DePaul Diocesan Council of Western Kentucky CEO, Richard Remp-Morris says, “This has been a humbling experience, meeting the tornado survivors and hearing their horrific stories. I’ve felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and support in serving those in need with fellow Vincentians, Disaster Services Corp, Catholic Charities, VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters), and Long-Term Recovery groups. Kevin Peach, Chief Operating Officer at Disaster Services Corporation, stated that “DSC is an awe of the resiliency of Kentuckians and anyway we can continue to support Kentuckians on their road to recovery, we will. We’ve helped 50 families so far, help us assist 500 more and as many more as needed to help these families and communities completely recover.”
To date the SVdP Diocesan Council of Western Kentucky has served more than 50 families with our grant funding and anticipate serving as many as 500 families’ total. The ability to serve more families will be possible if additional funding is raised.” says CEO/Executive Director Richard Remp-Morris.
In addition, SVdP Diocesan Council of Western Kentucky is leveraging their warehouse space to distribute toys to parents who otherwise would be unable to provide toys for their children this Christmas season. Families can also pick up hand-made quilts from SVdP’s partner agencies.
Be Part of the Solution
Please help us help Kentuckians recover with the House In A Box™ program. To volunteer or donate, please visit : https://svdpwky.org
For any questions, please contact Richard Remp-Morris at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Society of St. Vincent de Paul: one of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
(www.svdpusa.org) is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of about 800,000 men and women who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 150 countries on five continents.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul Disaster Services is a founding member of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and its Disaster Services Corporation provides relief and recovery to disaster survivors across the United States and American Territories.