Update From the Grants Team: How We Are Meeting Evolving Needs and Refining Our Strategy
We continue to work closely with state and local officials, recovery groups, community leaders, and organizations to understand the evolving landscape of recovery. Whenever possible, members of our team attend community meetings to hear directly from Vermonters who are closest to the issues. Our goal is to be both a provider of resources AND an active partner in identifying what needs to be done.
We refine our strategies on a daily basis as new information comes in about unmet needs and about how other state and local dollars are flowing. We continue to use all that information and our deep network in communities and across the state to make sure that the flood fund dollars are being put to best use at each stage of response and recovery. That is what it means to be a community foundation.
Right now, we’re learning that there is a second wave of people who are discovering mold or structural damage in their homes that was not immediately apparent, and we remain attentive to these conditions. But the balance of the support coming out of the Vermont Flood Response and Recovery Fund 2023 is now shifting to repair and recovery.
We are making grants to a wider circle of organizations that meet a broader range of needs and addressing second-order impacts of the floods. This includes:
- Helping people navigate the state and federal grant and loan programs available to them, including filing FEMA and SBA claims or appeals with legal aid as needed
- Providing case management services for homeowners and renters, including those in mobile home parks
- Supporting people with substance use disorder or mental health challenges through support groups, workshops, and crisis trainings
- Helping nonprofits and businesses make repairs and re-open
We are also in dialogue with a range of agencies and organizations that are forming Long-Term Recovery Groups (LTRGs) at the local, county, and regional levels. These LTRGs will provide case management and coordinated access to services for flood survivors in the year ahead. Many conversations underscore the need for case workers, business navigators, and recovery coordinators and we’re working to determine how funding can best support these efforts.
The LTRGs are one way that our direct assistance grantmaking is now connecting to our overall flood recovery strategy, with other priorities in: housing; mental health, business and nonprofit recovery, farm recovery, climate adaptation, and community and watershed resilience.