Thursday, October 30, 2014
St. John the Baptist Parish - The St. John the Baptist Parish (SJBP) Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG), established to address the unmet needs of homeowners post Hurricane Isaac, held a close out meeting to commemorate the momentous impact on the community since its formation two years ago.
As a result of coordinatedefforts through the LTRG, the parish received recovery assistance from more than 4,000 volunteers nationwide completing over 190,000 hours toward rebuilding efforts in St. John. Approximately $486,559 in monetary funds and $256,672.80 in donated goods were allocated toward rebuilding efforts. The LTRG fulfilled 1,274 homeowner requests for assistance, including sheetrock, roof repair and carpentry work, in addition to remodeling 115 homes. An estimated savings to the Parish of $5.3 million for unskilled/skilled labor assisted in a total impact on Parish recovery of $7.2 million. Upon closing, all homeowner requests for assistance were completed and hundreds of families served. “I am so grateful that after 2 years of serving as the Chairman of the LTRG that we have accomplished our goal of assisting those homeowners who were either uninsured or under insured return home,” said Neil Bernard, LTRG Chairman.
The SJBP LTRG, directed by an executive board, managed rebuilding efforts through the organization of monetary and construction donations and advocating for additional resources and funding to help those devastated by the storm. A volunteer reception center (VRC) was quickly established at New Wine Development Corporation to serve as a central location for the influx of volunteers, as well as an intake center for affected residents. Large volumes of donated resources and supplies were organized and inventoried through the Multi-Purpose Warehouse and disbursed through volunteer groups based on the greatest need. A webpage was created to further assist in providing information to the public on available resources and services.
Participating members from the community, including New Wine Development Corporation, St. John the Baptist Parish Government, St. John United Way, nonprofit and church organizations, businesses and volunteers worked in various subcommittees based on the type of skills or support each provided. The subcommittees encompassed: allocations/funding, volunteer/donation coordination, emotional/spiritual care, construction/cleanup, unmet needs, case management and communications. Other organizations involved in the SJBP LTRG were Catholic Charities, BRACES, UMCOR, LA Spirit, Rising Star Baptist Church, Celebration Church, Louisiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (LAVOAD), and many others. Various local businesses donated including Marathon Petroleum Company LP, Arcelor Mittal, Evonik, Valero, Nalco and Home Depot. "St. John's recovery is a true result of a team effort," said Parish President Natalie Robottom. "I want to commend this group on working tirelessly toward recovery and for their dedication to making St. John bigger, better and stronger.”