Could you imagine spending the winter without heat? For many people who live in the Eastwick neighborhood of Philadelphia, this has been their reality.
Tropical Storm Isaias devastated Eastwick in the summer of 2020. Cars and ground levels of houses were completely underwater, which means heaters, air conditioners and everyday appliances like refrigerators, washers, and dryers were damaged beyond repair. Over one year later, Lutheran Disaster Response – Eastern Pennsylvania (LDR-EPA), continues to provide long-term recovery to neighbors in need.
One of those neighbors is Eastwick resident, Jehu. After Tropical Storm Isaias, Jehu and his wife’s house was submerged in waist-high flood water. The living space of his home was completely ruined. Unable to stay in their home, Jehu and his wife received two weeks of hotel stay from the American Red Cross and a gift card from Tzu Chi Foundation for essential items. Following the two weeks, Jehu and his wife had to return to their severely damaged home.
Jehu spent all of the money he could to make the space dry, taking out the dry wall and attempting to do as much repair work as he could. When LDR Case Manager, Stacey Ford, met Jehu last winter, he and his wife were heating their uninsulated home with a space heater and sleeping on the floor of Jehu’s brother’s home at night.
“Many people who live in Eastwick feel as though they’ve been forgotten. There is a lack of awareness and acknowledgement from the city and state when disasters like Tropical Storm Isaias happen, and that is one of our largest obstacles,” Stacey explains. Additionally, many of Eastwick’s residents are at or just above poverty level. With heaters costing between $5,000 and $9,000 each, the people of Eastwick are facing incredible hardships.
LDR-EPA works with the families of Eastwick to guide them along the journey to long-term recovery. Thanks to LDR-EPA, Jehu and his wife will be warm this winter as they now have a working heater. LDR-EPA also provided an air conditioner and hot water heater, and local volunteers from Trinity Lutheran Church in Kutztown helped install new doors, flooring, and dry wall.
My wife and I are so thankful for LDR-EPA. If it weren’t for them, I’d still be saving money for heat.Jehu B., resident of Eastwick, Philadelphia
Jehu and his wife are incredibly thankful for LDR-EPA’s support. More than a year after the storm, they are finally getting back on their feet. And for a neighborhood that often feels forgotten, LDR-EPA’s help as well as the hours upon hours of work from volunteers makes Eastwick’s residents feel less alone.
LDR-EPA is able to provide this support to individuals and families thanks to generous grants from organizations like the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and the Philadelphia Foundation as well as partnerships with various agencies who provide resources for families in need. You can help residents of Eastwick, like Jehu, stay warm this winter. Your support for LDR-EPA brings them hope and builds resiliency for future storms.