The Vermont Community Foundation and the Vermont Disaster Recovery Fund Announce Hiring of Allocations Director
Laurie Kozar has been named the director of allocations for the Vermont Disaster Recovery Fund as it gears up to provide grants to people affected by the 2023 floods.
The Vermont Disaster Recovery Fund (VDRF) was created following Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 to help individuals affected by disasters after they have exhausted all other sources of assistance, such as from FEMA, homeowner and flood insurance, and grants from local and regional disaster funds. Now, with Vermont still working to recover from flooding last summer that damaged homes, farms, and businesses, the VDRF is ramping up again, with support from partners including the Vermont Community Foundation.
In her new role, Kozar will lead the effort to access grants from the VDRF. She will work with local and regional recovery groups as well as locally based case managers in analyzing cases, identifying potential resources, and, when all other funding sources have been exhausted, assisting in the application for funds from the VDRF.
“Laurie is exactly the right person to execute a people-first approach to allocating funds and aiding survivors,” said Chris Graff, chair of the Vermont Disaster Recovery Fund.
Kozar’s position is financed by the Vermont Community Foundation through its VT Flood Response & Recovery Fund, which has raised $12.7 million and granted or committed $12.3 million of that total, so far.
“We know that some of the people who most need help after a disaster can’t get it, or get enough of it, from government or private insurance, and that this stalls long-term recovery,” said Dan Smith, president & CEO of the Vermont Community Foundation. “Thanks to the incredible generosity of everyone who has donated to our flood fund, we can help partners like VDRF as we strive to close funding gaps, maximize available resources, and put hard-hit communities back together.”
For the past two and a half years Kozar has been serving as a financial coach and energy efficiency guide for a statewide program managed by Capstone Community Action. After last year’s flooding, she served on an ad hoc team to seek funding for impacted Vermonters by engaging and advocating with partners across sectors. Kozar also provided direct assistance to help survivors navigate the various funding opportunities available.
“The complexity of systems can be daunting,” said Kozar. “The funds available through VDRF offer a lifeline to help close gaps and keep the recovery moving forward.”
Disaster survivors apply for funding at the VDRF either through local and regional long-term recovery groups or through case managers. The VDRF can provide grants of up to $25,000. Visit vdrf.org to learn more.
For additional information about how charitable giving through the Vermont Community Foundation is helping the state respond to the 2023 floods visit vtfloodresponse.org