Foothills United Way initiated the Foothills Flood fund on September 13, 2013 and rallied partners to that collaborative table to focus donations and collectively make emergency and longer term funding decisions. A month later, we helped organize the Long-Term Flood Recovery Group (LTFRG), with strong support from volunteers, companies, government partners, faith leaders and organizations from across the community.
To date, over 1,100 households impacted by the September 2013 flooding have presented themselves for help to the LTFRG (organized and led by Foothills United Way along with other partners, and Foothills United Way acting as Fiscal Agent). The LTFRG has raised over $4.8 million and coordinated volunteer services valued at over $3.4 million (so far) to assist in the recovery of these families.
Over 550 cases have been closed, with community case managers helping these folks find resources they need from across the community, including in-kind and cash grants from LTFRG and its partners for flooded appliances, building materials, renovation from flood damages, temporary rent during repairs or relocation. Additionally, hundreds of rescue personnel who faced trauma, and adults and children who were displaced or lost homes and property received support from LTFRG for emergency counseling services (a service first instituted by Foothills United Way during the Fourmile Canyon Fire).
Foothills Flood Relief Fund
The remaining households we are working with face some of the most complex circumstances for recovery. LTFRG and our partners’ funds, along with a renewed volunteer effort as the 2015 building season begins, will help over 300 of these households find a new normal. Over a hundred others are working with case managers at Boulder County to qualify for federal funding to rebuild or recover.
Foothills United Way’s unique service to this community through flood relief and recovery was not optional – perhaps no other local organization has the strong community relationships across the business, nonprofit, government and faith sectors to bring together such a massive public/private partnership in the midst of chaos, loss and great need.
The attention and staff time Foothills United Way dedicated to those impacted by the flood has consumed much of our scarce personnel resource over the past 18 months. That effort necessarily took away staff and volunteer hours we normally would have deployed against raising money for community basics, health, early education and financial stability programs for those in need in our community.