Hurricane Irma has left some members of our communities with unmet needs; those are needs that will not be met by insurance or government assistance.
FEMA estimates unmet needs in Glades County at approximately $400,000 and $960,000 in Hendry County and those figures do not include households who did not register with FEMA. Unmet needs can include housing, repairs, household goods, and other necessary items.
With the assistance of the FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison there has been several meetings held between Hendry and the Glades County citizens, business owners, representatives from faith based organizations and volunteers where the formation of a Long Term Recovery Group, currently known as the Hendry/Glades Unmet Needs Coalition (UNC), has been established. The Chairman (Luis Napoles), Vice Chair (Normand Charest), Secretary (Yvette Wingate) and Treasurer (Margaret England) have volunteered to lead in getting this group started. Our organization will be affiliated with the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee counties through a 501(c)(3).
There are also volunteers and various groups such as the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Mennonites, the Salvation Army, the United Way and local businesses who want to help rebuild after disaster with funds, supplies and volunteers. The UNC provides the organizational framework they will need to accomplish these tasks.
We need volunteers to assist in our mission. Volunteers need not have any special education or special skills. Nevertheless we welcome all volunteers as the task we are facing will require many hands. We are inviting local citizens who are interested in helping those in our community who are less fortunate and who still have unmet needs, to attend one or more of our organizational meetings. This does not imply obligation. Our next organizational meeting will be Friday, January 26, 2018 at 1 pm at the Carlson Memorial United Methodist Church at 310 Campbell Street, Labelle.
Those persons who wish to fill out a referral form to receive services for unmet needs as a as a result of hurricane Irma may do so at the above scheduled meeting.