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Recovery for Ike Survivors Enterprise A Texas Disaster Case Management Consortium Created by Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response

Recovery for Ike Survivors Enterprise


urricane Ike was the third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States, as well as the third costliest Atlantic hurricane of all time. As such, the road to recovery is long and difficult following the destruction of the storm. To provide services for the long-term recovery needs of Hurricane Ike survivors, the Hurricane Ike Texas Rise and Connect (HITRAC) project was created by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission with funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). One of three agencies tasked with administering the HITRAC program, Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response (LSSDR), created the Recovery for Ike Survivors Enterprise (RISE) program to provide disaster case management services in 16 Southeast Texas counties. Using a consortium model, LSSDR serves as the lead agency, with 10 local partner agencies working in and around their communities to provide disaster case management services to Ike survivors. RISE disaster case managers conduct a thorough, in-depth assessment of survivors’ disaster-related unmet needs and then work in partnership with survivors to develop recovery plans that identify how to meet those needs. Disaster case managers also serve as advocates for survivors by connecting them to available resources to meet their needs. To qualify to receive RISE disaster case management services, one must: be a survivor of Hurricane Ike, currently live in one of the 16 counties in the RISE service area, be a United States citizen or legal resident, and not currently be receiving assistance from the Disaster Housing Assistance Program or from another disaster case management agency. To date, the RISE program has helped over 6,500 households affected by Hurricane Ike reach their recovery goals, thus fulfilling its mission of assisting survivors in returning to their pre-disaster lives.

RISE Program Statistics

RISE Service Area

Number of cases (households) served to date*


Madison Walker

Number of individuals served to date*


Washington Austin



Montgomery Liberty

Waller Chambers

Orange Jefferson

Percent of cases with a recovery plan developed

97% Fort Bend

Brazoria Matagorda


Top unmet needs identified Furniture/appliances Housing Application assistance Top reasons for case closure Recovery plan achieved Primary needs met

* numbers reported as of July 7, 2010

A look at RISE through client successes The primary goal of the RISE program is to help Hurricane Ike survivors complete the recovery process by connecting them to resources through disaster case management services. The following success stories illustrate how the program is accomplishing this goal for so many clients.


r. Ellias is an elderly disabled man who was living with friends in Galveston when Hurricane Ike hit. He was evacuated to Conroe, but as he was separated from his former roommates, he was unable to afford housing on his own. He bounced around from shelter to shelter, occasionally sleeping in parks when there were no beds available. When he became a RISE client, Mr. Ellias needed help finding permanent housing, as well as funds for the deposit and furnishings. His RISE case manager worked with him to thoroughly assess his situation, and soon after the case was presented to the local long term recovery committee. The committee awarded the funds requested for one month’s rent in a new apartment, including the deposit, as well as additional funds for furniture and kitchenware. Mr. Ellias was able to move into his new apartment soon after. “I’m feeling much better,” Mr. Ellias said. “It’s nice to get off a mattress in the morning and not a sidewalk.” His RISE case manager was even able to help Mr. Ellias secure a part-time position near his home so that he could continue to afford his apartment. He is still working and is enjoying his new home.


rs. Green’s home was heavily damaged during Hurricane Ike. Right after the storm, volunteers from a local Baptist church rebuilt much of her home, but she still had a ways to go before she could move back in. Her RISE case manager was able to coordinate volunteers to clean her yard as well as find funds to purchase new furniture. Mrs. Green cried when she was told that a hot water heater was being delivered to her house. Shortly after it was delivered, she moved out of her FEMA trailer and back into her home.


resident of Montgomery County, Mr. Loa’s home was hit by tree limbs during Hurricane Ike, ripping off the front porch. The damage caused the roof to leak and as a result, the sheetrock and flooring were damaged inside the home. Mr. Loa had already fixed the roof and one wall that had been structurally damaged before he became a RISE client. He came to RISE seeking resources for materials so he could complete the repairs to his family’s home. His RISE case manager was able to help Mr. Loa secure over $2,000 in gift cards to purchase the materials to finish repairing his home, including sheetrock, flooring, insulation and sporicide. Mr. Loa works during the week, but was able to complete the repairs to his home on weekends.


family of nine, the Savaadra’s home was completely demolished by Hurricane Ike. After the storm the family lived into a FEMA trailer, but they had to move the trailer from their home town in December due to a deadline for trailer removal. Ms. Savaadra worked diligently to keep her children in the same schools as before the storm and to navigate her way through debris removal, permitting, demolition and clean-up of her property. She was one of the first to submit a complete application for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to rebuild the family’s home. Her application was approved and her house is on schedule to be rebuilt.

The following is a letter written by a RISE client to her case manager:

RISE Partner Agencies


ISE partner agencies play a vital role in the success of the program. From case management to training services, RISE partner agencies work together to make the program effective in providing the best

disaster case management services available to survivors of Hurricane Ike. RISE partner agencies focus on the delivery of timely, appropriate disaster case management services through effective coordination at a local level. By linking clients to local, state and national resources, RISE case managers deliver services to clients to help them in their recovery from Hurricane Ike. Through this collaboration and coordination of the RISE consortium, case managers have so far connected more than 6,500 households to an array of available support and assistance to help survivors achieve their disaster recovery goals and move toward full recovery from Hurricane Ike.

Boat People SOS


PSOS is a national, community-based organization whose mission is to “empower, organize, and equip Vietnamese individuals and communities in their pursuit of liberty and dignity.” Since 1980,

one out of ten Vietnamese Americans have received assistance from BPSOS through its 18 office locations throughout the United States. BPSOS has operated disaster relief and recovery programs in the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina. The organization’s staff is on the ground every day to provide a wide array of services to Hurricane Ike victims, and most recently to the Gulf Coast oil spill victims. As part of the RISE program, BPSOS’s local affiliates continue fulfilling their mission by targeting Vietnamese Ike survivors, who account for nearly 10% of the population impacted by the hurricane. BPSOS provides disaster case management services to families and individuals isolated due to cultural and language barriers. This includes the translation of documents from English to Vietnamese so that Vietnamese communities may have access to important recovery information and be well-informed of resources available to them. Bilingual and bicultural case managers are trained to work on all aspects of recovery to help limited English proficient families return to a sense of selfsufficiency. In addition to providing case management, BPSOS also provides wrap-around services including: legal, health, mental heath, job placement, and economic development. BPSOS’s RISE case managers serve Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Jefferson and Orange counties.

In addition to connecting him to resources for financial assistance, BPSOS helped Mr. Cao replace the crab traps he lost in the storm.

Catholic Charities


ounded in 1943 as an information and referral service, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston quickly began adding programs to serve individuals in need, including children

in need of adoption or foster care, pregnant and parenting adolescents and individuals, families in need of counseling, and various types of emergency assistance. Collectively, the programs of Catholic Charities work to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and provide hope for over 80,000 people each year without regard to race or religion.

A case manager works with a client in her home to prepare the documentation necessary to present her case at the unmet needs table.

With RISE, Catholic Charities brings to the table years of previous experience supporting survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, including the development and implementation of disaster recovery case management services. Immediately following Hurricane Ike, Catholic Charities distributed emergency provisions to over 40,000 families in the Galveston-Houston area and initiated crisis case management services to address the immediate needs of survivors. Because of its familiarity with the devastation caused by the hurricane, Catholic Charities focuses on repairing not only the lives of Ike survivors in but also the community itself. Catholic Charities provides RISE disaster case management services in Galveston County.

Grace Community Services


RACE Community Services was founded in February 2005 and began as a grassroots effort to train pastors, churches, community leaders and local community organizations on being ready for any

type of disaster. Today, GRACE continues to empower churches and other ministries to be ready to take ownership when a disaster strikes their community, including knowing how to respond and how to maintain a presence on the scene and throughout the healing process. The agency has previously provided disaster recovery services following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav. GRACE continues its efforts to empower disaster survivors as a partner in the RISE program by serving Austin, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Jefferson, Matagorda, Orange, Waller and Washington counties. Case managers focus on immersing themselves in the local community and work hard to make sure that information about RISE is presented in a way that meets the needs of the local population. Through intensive outreach, including canvassing neighborhoods and attending local meetings, GRACE has been able to reach out to over a thousand Ike survivors and provide them the disaster case management services needed to help them through the recovery process.

A case manager performs an intake on a client at an outreach event. GRACE organizes events in their service area to inform the local population about the RISE program.

GMC Consultants, LLC


MC Consultants, LLC has been providing social services and case management for at-risk clients in low to moderate income communities since its founding in 2006. Through these services,

GMC works toward fulfilling its mission of moving the individuals in need toward wholeness while maintaining dignity, respect, independence and personal empowerment. GMC Consultants continues in its commitment to helping clients by administering results-oriented leadership, delivering services in an efficient professional manner and fostering personal development. Case managers attend a resource fair organized by GMC Consultants to inform the community about the RISE program.

The agency’s previous experience with Hurricane Ike recovery programs play a vital role in GMC’s work as a RISE partner. GMC has focused on putting together a diverse staff to create a sense of comfort for Hurricane Ike survivors who come from a range of backgrounds and on defining case management quality through client outcomes. Through the trust GMC Consultants builds with its clients and its focus on positive outcomes, disaster case managers are able to provide the services necessary to help hundreds of families and individuals rebuild their lives. GMC RISE case managers serve Brazoria, Galveston, Montgomery and Walker counties.

Gulf Coast Center


ne of 39 community Mental Health and Mental Retardation (MHMR) centers in Texas, Gulf Coast Center fulfills its mission to “enable and empower individuals and families to live quality

lives� by providing treatment for individuals within their community while minimizing the number admitted to state facilities. The Center serves Brazoria and Galveston Counties and offers services such as substance abuse recovery, day activity programs, and employment assistance for those with mental retardation and mental illness. Over almost 41 years, Gulf Coast Center has expanded its primary services to include prevention and addiction recovery services, created working partnerships with other service agencies and accepted the challenges presented by an ever-changing service delivery environment. As part of the RISE program, Gulf Coast Center is intimately aware of the tough issues facing members of some of the hardest hit communities by Hurricane Ike, having provided hurricane crisis and recovery services immediately following the storm. Disaster case managers work to help their clients in Galveston and Brazoria counties return to a state of wholeness by addressing all their Ikerelated needs, including mental health issues.

Gulf Coast Center helped the Heinrich’s secure funds to purchase furniture for the home they moved into after losing theirs in the storm.



CNA Relief USA is a multicultural human development organization whose purpose is to address the basic human needs of underserved communities in the United States through its local chapters. Through

programs such as disaster response, shelters for women and the homeless and family services, ICNA Relief USA is fulfilling its mission in promoting justice by creating the opportunity for people to lead healthy and productive lives. Through the various services it offers, ICNA Relief continues its efforts

ICNA Relief USA disaster case managers helped this client remove garbage and debris from her home.

to realize the principle that all people are created equal and when given the tools, will thrive and bring about change in their own lives and the lives of their communities. Immediately following Hurricane Ike, ICNA Relief established the ICNA Relief Hurricane Ike Recuperation Center in Galveston, which provided hot meals, fresh water, clean-up supplies, medical attention, food baskets and clothing to Hurricane Ike survivors. With the RISE program, ICNA Relief is able to build on those efforts by helping those survivors meet their long-term recovery needs through disaster case management services. ICNA Relief RISE case managers serve Galveston, Grimes, Madison, Montgomery and Walker counties.

Mainland Children’s Partnership


ainland Children’s Partnership (MCP) has been working to give at-risk children and their families the best possible opportunity to break the cycle of poverty in Galveston County since 1990. Today,

MCP is helping families break the cycle of poverty by fostering collaboration in the community between the providers of medical, social, educational, financial and support services providers. The agency continues to work towards its goal to develop a seamless delivery system of social services to help those in need. Shortly after Hurricane Ike hit, MCP got straight to work by setting up an Mainland Children’s Partnership helped the Savaadra family apply

intake line that survivors could call to be placed on a list for assistance. and get approved for funds to Prior to joining the RISE partnership, MCP also hired case managers to begin serving families with emergency funding from BP through the United Way of Mainland Galveston County. MCP continues to serve some of the hardest hit communities by Hurricane Ike in Galveston county as part of the RISE program. By focusing on aligning themselves with local food banks and churches, as well as establishing a presence at local high-traffic businesses, MCP has been able to effectively spread the word about RISE disaster case management and gain the trust of the community.

rebuild their home.

Southeast Texas Interfaith Organization


outheast Texas Interfaith Organization (SETIO) is a faith-based, long-term disaster recovery organization serving 29 counties in Southeast Texas. The organization was created in the fall of 2005 by

local clergy and community members to help the most vulnerable members in the area following Hurricane Rita. SETIO focuses on addressing the needs of the uninsured and underinsured elderly, single-parent families and the disabled.

SETIO helped this client and his grandson repair their damaged home and replace appliances so they could move out of their FEMA trailer.

SETIO provides comprehensive disaster case management services to Hurricane Ike survivors in Jefferson and Orange counties as a RISE partner agency. SETIO also supplies valuable financial resources to RISE clients through its unmet needs table, from which Ike survivors are awarded funds to help meet their disaster-related needs. In addition to disaster case management, SETIO also operates a construction service to help hurricane survivors in the area rebuild their homes. The combination of disaster case management and construction programs helps SETIO continue to fulfill its mission of meeting all the needs of hurricane victims in order to make their lives whole again.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul


ne of the oldest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been leading women and men to join together and grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service

to those who are needy and suffering since its founding in Paris in 1833. Today there are 51,000 councils of the society in 142 countries, and all are committed in their efforts to address the needs of the people they serve. Today the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is bringing help and hope to the lives of over 37 million people worldwide with services ranging from refugee camps in Sudan to schools in Chile. As part of the RISE program, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul USA’s South Central Regional Office works to provide disaster case management services to Hurricane Ike survivors in Chambers, Hardin, Jefferson, Liberty and Orange counties. Through these services, disaster case managers fulfill the Society’s mission by providing effective disaster case management for survivors in need.

A case manager from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul works with her client on an application for finanical assistance.

United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Houston


ounded in 1947, United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Houston (UCP) and its national affiliates strive to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all facets of society. As one of the largest health charities

in America, the mission of UCP is to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities. UCP nationally serves more than 176,000 children and adults with disabilities and their families every day by providing services such as housing, therapy, assistive technology training, individual and family support, social and recreation programs, community Children of RISE clients were able to participate in UCP’s programs for children and families. Here a client and her son participate in a play group.

living, employment assistance and advocacy. UCP was among the first organizations to respond after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to the needs of people with disabilities. This prior experience helped UCP develop an understanding of how to deal with the unique issues and needs faced by individuals with disabilities following a disaster. It also helped prepare UCP to provide effective and positive disaster case management services for disabled survivors of Hurricane Ike in Fort Bend and Waller counties. As a partner in the RISE program, UCP of Greater Houston continues to fulfill its mission by focusing on serving children and adults with all types of disabilities and their families through their programs, including providing emergency assistance to survivors with disabilities and their families recovering from Hurricane Ike .

Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response


utheran Social Services Disaster Response (LSSDR) is an affiliated program of Lutheran Social Services of the South (LSSS), a multifaceted social service agency that serves more than 45,000 people

annually throughout Texas and Louisiana without regard to religion, gender, ethnicity or race. LSSS’s ministries include disaster response, therapeutic foster care, retirement communities, senior health care, adult day care, adoption, children’s centers and emergency assistance. Depending on the needs of disaster-affected communities and the resources available to serve them, LSSDR provides disaster services such as emergency hardship grants, volunteer coordination, disaster case management, construction, emotional and spiritual care and preparedness programs. As the lead agency for the RISE program, LSSDR provides support, technical assistance, monitoring and evaluation, public relations assistance and training to the RISE partner agencies. LSSDR works to ensure that RISE partners have all the tools, training and support necessary to administer the best disaster case management services possible to survivors of Hurricane Ike.

LSSDR also serves as the lead training agency for the HITRAC program, coordinating basic case management, forms and CAN database trainings for new disaster case managers across the HITRAC program.

United Methodist Committee on Relief


he United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the not-for-profit global humanitarian aid organization of the United Methodist Church that responds to natural and civil disasters that are interruptions of such magnitude that they overwhelm a community’s ability to recover on its own.

UMCOR partners with local organizations and survivors to help rebuild their livelihoods, health and homes. As a partner in the RISE program, UMCOR provides a two-day basic training for disaster case managers to help prepare them for their role in working with and supporting clients through the disaster recovery process. The training covers such valuable topics as the imporant role of government and faith-based organizations in disaster recovery and how to identify and attend to unmet needs of survivors during the case managment process.

Coordinated Assistance Network


he database used by the RISE consortium is the Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN), which provides a safe and secure web-based environment in which to store client information. CAN was developed in the wake of September 11, 2001 to enable disaster relief agencies to

effectively communicate with one another regarding client needs and services offered. By enabling disaster response organizations and other stakeholders to share up-to-date information, CAN ensures timely service delivery to disaster survivors. Access to the CAN database is essential to the success of the RISE program, as it allows disaster case managers to keep updated records of their progress on a client’s case and also prevents duplication of services by coordinating information, data and services across multiple providers. CAN also maintains a searchable database of the resources and services available to disaster survivors.


Advocating for RISE Clients

ocal, collaborative community organizations known as long-term recovery committees (LTRC’s) are one of the primary mechanisms through which RISE disaster case managers connect clients in need to available resources.

Representatives from local social service agencies and faith-based groups meet frequently to review the status of local recovery efforts and to identify ways to meet the needs of disaster survivors. RISE disaster case managers regularly present to the LTRC’s, advocating on behalf of their clients to request resources. As a result of case presentations, grants are distributed to help families rebuild their lives. RISE works with LTRC’s throughout the service area, including Montgomery County LTRC (MC Cares), Liberty County LTRC, Chambers County LTRC, Orange County LTRC, Galveston County Restore & Rebuild (GCR2), Brazoria County LTRC and the Greater Houston LTRC.

For more information about the RISE program, please call toll free at 1-800-453-7473 or visit

An affiliated program of Lutheran Social Services of the South (800) 938-5777

RISE is a disaster case management program, operated by Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response and created by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) with a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help Texans recover after Hurricane Ike. RISE is designed to provide help, support and advocacy for survivors of Hurricane Ike as they recover from the disaster.

RISE program booklet  

Recovery for Ike Survivors Enterprise

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