ACL has awarded two grants totaling $485,558 to assist with recovery efforts in Texas and Florida following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission received $300,000, and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs received $185,558. Both are one-year grants.
The grants are provided under the Older Americans Act, which authorizes limited funding of state units on aging (SUAs) and approved tribal organizations to help offset the costs of meeting critical needs of older adults in recovery efforts following national disasters. To receive the funding, eligible organizations must submit an application to the Administration for Community Living. ACL will be working with Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to coordinate their applications in the coming weeks.
In Texas and Florida, the grants will be used as follows:
In Texas, funding will be distributed to eight Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) in affected areas to help fund additional staff, overtime costs, and purchasing services and supports for people impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The project anticipates more than 8,000 older adults will be helped through case management, advocacy and benefits counseling, as well as the purchase of services such as prescriptions, meals, transportation, gift cards for basic home and personal necessities, health maintenance, and other support based on assessment of needs. The President issued a disaster declaration covering 39 of 254 counties in Texas due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey, which included massive flooding.
Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) will use the $185,558 to assist AAAs in meeting the needs of older adults affected by Hurricane Irma, which hit Florida on Sept. 4, 2017. The state will use the funds for gap-filling services such as replacement of shelf-stable meals, which were depleted immediately following the storm and provision of emergency medications, transportation services, repair assistance, and the like; In addition, the grant will support outreach and case management, including assisting elders in accessing disaster services; legal aid services to help older adults deal with insurance companies and contractors, and overtime costs AAA staff. All 67 counties in Florida are included in the disaster declaration, and all 11 of the state’s AAAs will receive assistance through this grant.