BPSOS’ Hurricane Ike Disaster Recovery Program (DCMP) team brings to bear a vast array of talents and skills to meet the needs of Hurricane Ike survivors.
July 2, 2009: After nine months of hard work responding to the community’s unmet needs following Hurricane Ike, the short-term disaster recovery team at BPSOS-Houston is winding down its operations.
“We helped a total of 1,047 clients in five counties,” said case manager Jannette Diep.
But Diep’s case files, like those of her colleagues, are not going to be closed just yet. Indeed, the work of BPSOS has only started.
“We knew that with the short-term disaster recovery program, we weren’t able to provide adequate assistance to all the families,” said Annie Trinh, case manager supervisor. “Some of the families still need help, and that’s why there’s a need for the long-term disaster case management program.”
The new case managers of the Hurricane Ike Disaster Case Management Program (DCMP) will continue to work with some of the same clients as their short-term predecessors. The DCMP is a long-term program that is critical to successful disaster recovery efforts. With funding from the Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response (LSSDR), the program will serve six Texas counties: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Jefferson, and Orange. Additional funding from Neighborhood Centers Inc. is making possible the case management work in nearby Harris County.
Case managers of the new program will provide services to families and individuals who are isolated by cultural and linguistic barriers. These individuals and families are underserved and unable to access the services and information they need to recover from the disaster.
In order to help these clients achieve and maintain self-sufficiency, BPSOS staff members will provide one-on-one case management as well as help with:
– addressing unmet needs
– securing housing assistance
– applying for public benefits
– accessing long-term recovery information
– obtaining legal services and referrals
– securing interpretation and translation
To serve as many Ike survivors as possible, BPSOS-Houston has hired over 50 new employees to fill positions ranging from case manager to IT and media personnel. Before contacting any clients, these newly hired staff members are receiving weeks of intensive training in everything from case management to data entry and systems operation.
“We also met with other organizations and attended different resource fairs,” said newly hired case manager Binh Ho.
“We recognize that we will be working closely with these families on very sensitive matters, so training is very much needed, and now we are set and ready!” said case manager supervisor Mai Huynh.