We need to raise $5,000 to secure a generous matching gift from the Community Foundation of Elkhart County to support home fire victims in Elkhart County. You can help!
While most people are familiar with our large-scale disaster response, many don’t realize that the most common disaster the Red Cross responds to is the single-family home fire. Thanks to close-working relationships with local fire departments and emergency management agencies, the Red Cross is often notified as soon as a home fire is reported. Upon notification, the Red Cross dispatches trained volunteers to address a family’s immediate and basic needs and to offer ongoing recovery casework and assistance. Home Fire Relief services—provided at no cost to clients—bridge the gap between current resources and those required for full recovery, are offered in coordination with our community partners, and most commonly include:
1. Direct financial assistance We offer direct financial assistance, tailored for both family size and lodging status. Families are provided funds for temporary lodging if the family home is unlivable and the family has no other place to stay. In addition, all families receive basic needs assistance to purchase food, clothing, transportation and other basic needs lost in a home. Supplemental assistance is available, if needed.
2. Casework Once immediate needs have been met, a volunteer caseworker works with the family to assess additional needs, such as clothing or furniture replacement, utilities connections, prescription medical or medical equipment replacement, and a variety of other needs.
3. Recovery planning Red Cross caseworkers also help families develop a longer-term recovery plan and identify specific recovery needs, such as making insurance claims, searching for a new home, quoting costs for home repairs, or health and mental health services. The caseworker works with the family to meet those needs until the family states they have all their emergency needs met.
Last year, we served 202 Elkhart County residents with this program, which is available to all Elkhart County residents who have experienced a verified home fire.