The Salvation Army transitions to long-term disaster recovery in Northeast Arkansas
By: Cindy Fuller
In December, The Salvation Army immediately deployed emergency disaster services after a strong and deadly storm system left destruction in its way in Northeast Arkansas as well as Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. The initial response included food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care, as well as participation in a multi-agency resource center.
However, many of those affected have months, if not years, of recovery ahead. As a result, The Salvation Army is helping to facilitate long-term recovery groups in Trumann and the Monette/Leachville areas of Arkansas. Long-term recovery helps with individual unmet needs when personal resources, insurance, and government grants/loans are insufficient to meet the need. The goal is to identify the disaster-related unmet needs of individuals and households impacted by disasters. The group can then help collaborate to leverage the resources available to those affected by the disaster.
Local and national nonprofits, as well as city, county, and state government representatives are part of the unmet needs group involved in long-term recovery. Other organizational representatives may include mental health providers, churches, tribal entities, social and human services, and more. Almost 25 people were in attendance at the first meeting of the unmet needs group in Trumann along with several at the Monette/Leachville meeting.
The Salvation Army is taking the lead in facilitating the meetings on behalf of the Arkansas Voluntary Organizations active in disaster. One of the first projects to come up was a residential debris clean-up in Trumann. This is being addressed by assisting residents with debris removal as well as promoting impacted citizens enroll in case management.
The mission of The Salvation Army is to meet human need in His name without discrimination. Regardless of the circumstances, each case is treated uniquely to meet the circumstances surrounding the individual, family, or community’s needs. During the emergency response phase, The Salvation Army provided 3,287 meals, 2,142 drinks, 9,513 snacks, and 248 emotional and spiritual contacts.