From Emergency Relief to Reconstruction
Much of last fall’s news focused on pain and devastation in the Caribbean after one of the strongest Atlantic storms ever observed, Irma battered the region first in the beginning of September. Two weeks later Maria unleashed her fury. They were the first pair of Atlantic Category 5 hurricanes to occur during the same year since 2007.
As these initial disaster relief efforts wound down late last year, Hope Builders started moving forward with plans to help rebuild and repair homes here on Vieques. The work has started and will be ongoing for the next 1 to 2 years. Hope Builders exists to provide the elderly, bed ridden, sick, families with young children and the most in need, with safe, sanitary, sustainable homes.
Hope Builders has hired local help and will continue to hire more - a move that will aid the local economy. We are also in the process of hiring local young adults, who are interested in learning skills in construction that we can offer on the job training to. We will also be recruiting volunteers who can travel to and work here on the island.
As members of the Long Term Recovery Group LTRG for Puerto Rico Division G and Vieques and Hope Builders collaboration with other nonprofit organizations, such as COREFI, Vieques Love, Vieques Conservation and Historical trust and numerous others, for profit business, federal organizations such as FEMA, Army Corps of Engineers, SBA and volunteers from AmeriCorps NCCC, SBA AmeriCorps, and numerous other volunteer organizations is helping us to be a powerful force in Vieques.
Our staff and volunteers have partnered with local nonprofit organizations, churches, local, state and federal agencies, to identify at-risk families in great need of assistance. Hope Builders is not only repairing and building homes, but has been helping the community navigate through FEMA registration and appeals, which is often a confusing, unclear and time-consuming process. The uncertainty surrounding the application and compensation process, coupled with the challenges that disaster-impacted citizens have in procuring the necessary documentation, reduces the pool of applicants who apply and follow through. Hope Builders recognizes that often times the rebuilding process goes beyond four walls and a roof, that is why we work feel it is so important to partner and collaborate with other organizations and agencies. Together, we'll serve and meet the tangible needs in the name of Jesus Christ.
Hope Builders is Building homes and Rebuilding lives!