On September 14, 2018, Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina and over the next two days produced record-breaking rainfall across eastern North Carolina. The storm caused major flooding and property destruction across eastern North Carolina.
In October of 2018, Eastpointe (Local Management Entity-Managed Care Organization) reached out to RHA’s behavioral health team in the Lumberton area and asked them to provide recovery assistance to Hurricane Florence survivors in Robeson, Scotland and Bladen counties through the Hope 4 NC Crisis Counseling Program Grant (CCP).
Hope 4 NC CCP is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). RHA’s recovery assistance Outreach Team in Robeson, Scotland and Bladen counties worked in collaboration with Eastpointe, FEMA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the North Carolina Division of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS).
FEMA funded the grant in two phases: an initial 60-day phase to provide immediate disaster services and a second nine-month phase to provide regular services as needed for recovery. Each of the partners plays a role: SAMHSA provides technical assistance and training, NC DHHS oversees the implementation of the grant and Eastpointe serves as the liaison between RHA and NCDHHS and manages the funding from FEMA.
The goals of the Hope 4 NC CCP grants are:
- To reach large numbers of people affected by the hurricane through face-to-face outreach.
- To assess the emotional needs of survivors and make referrals to behavioral health services as needed.
- To identify tangible needs and link survivors to community resources and disaster relief services
- To provide emotional support through basic crisis counseling and education.
- To develop partnerships with local organizations.
Since October of 2018, the RHA Robeson, Scotland and Bladen Outreach Team, which consists of four Robeson County teams, plus one team each focusing on Scotland and Bladen counties, has reached out to tens of thousands of individuals and provided crisis counseling to many survivors. They have linked multitudes of survivors to much needed food and clothing and resources to get their homes repaired, started and/or participated in Long Term Recovery committees (LTR), and developed self-help groups. They are also visiting schools and daycares to provide disaster recover education.
Through our participation in the CCP grant we have provided important relief assistance to many individuals and will continue to do so until the grant ends on March 31,, 2020.*
*The government shutdown of 2019 caused the grant timelines to be extended.