22 months after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee ravaged northeastern PA, Lutheran Disaster Response – Eastern PA (LDR – EPA) and its partners are still repairing homes. At least 67 families are still in the rebuilding process or waiting for assistance.
Through our partnership with other organizations, particularly United Methodists and Presbyterians, and our work with long-term recovery committees, over 2,100 families were identified and contacted by phone. 187 families in Berks, Luzerne, Wyoming, Susquehanna, Bradford and Sullivan counties were identified as needing assistance. Of these, about 50% have been completed. Only one family is still in a temporary housing unit (FEMA trailer) and the owner is making rapid progress in restoring his residence. 363 Lutheran volunteers have already put in well over 5,000 hours of work, with an estimated worth over $107,000.
We have accomplished a lot, but there still a lot of work to do. Many local leaders are growing weary. Many volunteers have shifted their attention to other areas of the country, where natural disasters have occurred more recently. Some of the families we are now working with have been living with mold and primitive conditions since September 2011. Many of them are elderly, in poor health, and face other challenging situations.
We need help — in the form of volunteer groups of two to eight individuals — now through the fall of 2013 in Bradford, Sullivan and Wyoming counties, so that we can finish these projects before winter. Some work can be done a day at a time. Some sites need a week or more of effort. Site supervisors able to oversee one or more projects are badly needed. An electrician and a plumber are also needed short term on a few of these sites. Lodging is available.
To find out more, please contact:
Dianne@lutherancongregationalservices.org, 610-428-4598 (especially late July to early August) or Ruth@lutherancongregationalservices.org, 484-553-1162.