GlobalGiving has committed to providing a $250,000 grant to St. Croix Foundation for Community Development to fund three Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRGs) in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This grant will specifically fund (1) three disaster case managers that will support 600 families across the U.S. Virgin Islands over the course of one year, and (2) training, coordinated by the Long Term Recovery Groups and provided by United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), for all 25 disaster case managers currently working across St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John.
GlobalGiving will work with St. Croix Foundation for Community Development, Lutheran Disaster Response/St. Thomas Recovery Team, the Virgin Island Partners for Healthy Communities and the St. John Community Foundation/St. John LTRG. These groups will establish a joint network of the 25 current disaster case managers across St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John to share best practices and promote collaboration. As part of the network, the 25 case managers from all three islands will receive UMCOR’s training, which will support consistent case management practices. They will also work together to develop a communications plan based on established methodologies and factors, such as economic status and age, to reach the families in need of assistance.
In addition, three disaster case managers will each support 200 families, helping them rebuild and access psycho social counseling, transportation assistance and other social services through ongoing visits over the course of one year.
GlobalGiving aims to support families in current need after the 2017 hurricane season, as well as prepare LTRGs and disaster case managers in USVI for future storms through the creation of consistent standards for disaster case management across St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. This commitment strengthens the capacity of disaster case management in the USVI.
Q2 2019: Members of the GlobalGiving team will conduct site visits to each island in June of 2019 to connect with each Long Term Recovery Group on the upcoming activities for the year.
Q3 2019: The Long Term Recovery Groups will establish a network of 25 case managers across the three islands to promote collaboration; With training organized by the Long Term Recovery Groups, including training by United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the network will develop consistent guidelines and develop a communications plan to reach families in need of assistance; Case managers will begin outreach to families.
Q4 2019 – Q1 2020: Ongoing case management support; The Long Term Recovery Group member organizations will work together to continue to ensure consistent guidelines and best practices; St. Croix Foundation for Community Development will be responsible for aggregating reporting (including validation of how the funds were spent, metrics including number of cases managed by sub-grantee, number of case workers trained, etc.); GlobalGiving will receive one report at the six month point.
Q2 2020: Establish longer-term plans for the network and wrap up case management for families to ensure their needs have been addressed; Members of the GlobalGiving team will conduct site visits to each island in the first half of 2020; St. Croix Foundation for Community Development will be responsible for aggregating reporting and GlobalGiving will receive one report at the end of the grant period; GlobalGiving will convene the implementing organizations as a group to do an “after action review” on this grant in Q2, 2020.
Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, many families in the U.S. Virgin Islands are still navigating the complicated recovery process and remain in need of case management support. Disaster case managers meet with affected families and act as their champions and advocates in navigating systems for support, helping them repair damage to their homes and access psycho social counseling, transportation assistance and other social services. For families that own a small business, case managers also support them as they rebuild their business.
The Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRGs) on St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John have taken on the role and responsibility of supporting the disaster case management needs across the region. However, disaster case management, which is critical for families affected by the impacts of the storms, is currently underfunded.
Furthermore, there is little support to ensure consistent application of disaster case management guidelines and reporting across the three islands in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Ongoing preparedness for disaster case managers that ensures readiness for the current needs of families, as well as in anticipation of case work for future natural disasters also remains unaddressed in the region. This results in unserved families, lower confidence in the social sector, and lower probability of resilience in the face of future challenges.