Juntos Podemos: Urban Strategies' new relief fund

#JuntosPodemos Relief is the expression of Urban Strategies work to provide relief to regions hit by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria through:

- Directing Immediate Relief to the Most Vulnerable

- Providing for the Health and Wellness of the Affected

- Restoration and Development

Background

Urban Strategies is engaged in work to accelerate and strengthen the work of Latino-serving faith-based organizations in areas of high need. This is true in the case of Texas, Florida, and in Puerto Rico where our work has been extensive to include Bienestar, a health and well-being initiative addressing the most pressing health needs in high priority Latino communities; Rebozos de Salud, a partnership with the University of Houston to implement and evaluate a maternal child health intervention focused on addressing post-partum depression; Family Strengthening, an initiative that provides training to lay leaders to conduct parenting, marriage, and youth development programs in their neighborhoods; and Early Educational Initiatives that include our Early Head Start Family & Child Academies, Parent Engagement Training, and Professional Leadership Development.

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, Urban Strategies is continuing our work with our on-the-ground partners in Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

Directing Immediate Relief to the Most Vulnerable

Given our knowledge of the communities, local culture, and organizational strengths and opportunities, we are facilitating the distribution of resources to hard hit areas. Key national partners in this aspect of our work include World Vision whose sophisticated processes of resource collection is allowing us to provide resources to address basic needs in the hardest hit communities.

Status as of 10/1/2017

Puerto Rico

- Asking advocacy partners to help dislodge the bottleneck of containers of supplies to the communities.

- Restoring communication with congregations and other on-the-ground partners that have had no access to any form of communication and where physical access has been hindered because of destruction.

Florida

- We have supported the delivery of basic needs to congregations in Imokalee, an area that has a high number of migrant workers.

- Organizing partners around “La Bienvenida” in which we will set up distribution centers in Miami/Dade Counties and in Orlando to support the needs of families migrating from Puerto Rico. A ship of 3,800 evacuees is expected to arrive in South Florida in the coming week.

Texas

We have facilitated the delivery of more than 15 trucks of diapers, mattresses, water, and food to four key church partners and a “newcomer” school located in Houston. More than 12,000 homes were flooded within a 2 mile radius of our partnering organizations.

Providing for the Health and Wellness of the Affected

We are working towards facilitating the provision of services from medical professionals and para professionals as well as building the capacity of local leaders to address the physical and mental health needs to support the most vulnerable.

Status 10/1/2017

Puerto Rico

- Together with our partners, we are working to secure flights from Florida to the Island, Housing on the ground, and ground transportation (and fuel).

- Culturally and linguistically adapting mental health materials for dissemination

- Connecting Puerto Rican based professionals with our centers

Florida

We are mobilizing first nurses, mental health providers and other first responders to join us in support the children and families’ evacuees from Puerto Rico.

Texas

In conversations with University Partners to provide mental health supports through our partnering congregations.

Restoration and Development

Status as of 10/1/2017

Texas

We are developing infrastructure for Withness and Work teams to join with local congregations in rebuilding the homes of families in nearby neighborhoods. Initial work has focused on developing tools and providing resources around mold remediation. In early November, work teams from Willow Creek Community Church and other congregations will begin joining the on-the ground work of rebuilding homes of those most in need.

Supporting these Efforts

If you are interested in supporting one or several of these efforts, please go to JuntosPodemos.charity.org. We thank you in advance for joining us in providing relief, recovery and restoration to these impacted communities.

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