Hartford Foundation’s Respond-Rebuild-Renew Fund Awards $200,000 Grant to Support Residents Impacted by Relocation from the Caribbean and other Disaster Areas

Individuals and families who will be terminated from Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)-supported transitional housing and others in need of emergency services will continue to receive support thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation’s Respond-Rebuild-Renew Fund. The grant has been awarded to the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut’s Neighbors in Need Fund to support disaster case management services and shelter diversion/emergency assistance funds for residents impacted by relocation from the Caribbean and other disaster areas. 

United Way of Connecticut, in partnership with the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, through the Neighbors in Need Fund at the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, have developed a two-part plan to assist hurricane survivors currently living in Connecticut who may face homelessness over the course of the next six months in the absence of emergency case management and assistance. 

This plan includes:

  •  An emergency assistance fund accessible to disaster case managers to fund costs that will allow families to avoid homelessness, costs associated with stabilizing potential housing with family/friends, or securing new rental housing when needed, or airfare to return to Puerto Rico if families prefer.
  • Expansion of disaster case management staffing.

Through the experiences of the Connecticut homelessness response system, providers have learned that helping clients to exercise existing housing options is both less costly (in financial terms) as well as less traumatic for clients.  This strategy of assisting people so that they may avoid literal homelessness and the need to enter an emergency homeless shelter is referred to as "shelter diversion." 

In November 2017, the Hartford Foundation established the Respond-Rebuild-Renew Fund in response to the growing needs faced by individuals and families relocating to Greater Hartford following natural disasters.  As a current use fund, the Respond-Rebuild-Renew Fund connects donors to Greater Hartford nonprofit and community efforts that are addressing both immediate and long-term recovery efforts resulting from unforeseen natural and human-made disasters that align with the Foundation's core values of equity, diversity and inclusion.

Earlier this month, the Foundation approved three grants totaling $30,000 to three local agencies: Capitol Region Education Council ($10,000), Catholic Charities ($10,000), and The Salvation Army of Southern New England ($10,000). These grants will help to meet a variety of critical, basic needs (e.g., public transportation passes, housing deposits, furniture, food and clothing) to newly relocated residents from natural disaster areas.

"We are pleased to make these grants to work in concert  with our philanthropic partners and community nonprofits to provide support services for the influx of people who have come to Greater Hartford after this past fall’s devastating hurricanes,” said Hartford Foundation president Jay Williams. “Through that incredible generosity of our donors we will continue to grow the Respond-Rebuild-Renew Fund in order to fill in gaps in support to provide immediate assistance as well as back long-term efforts that may be necessary to stabilize our region in the aftermath of a serious crisis.”

The Respond-Rebuild-Renew Fund will support:

  •  Nonprofits and public sector entities addressing immediate and longer-term recovery, rebuilding and healing needs of residents and communities.
  • Gaps where public resources are unavailable.
  • Cross-sector collaborations with government, donors and public/private partnerships.
  • Public awareness and education efforts and community discussion around topics exacerbated by the event.
  • Legal services supports and coordination that provide direct services to impacted residents.

To learn more about the fund or make an online donation, visit hfpg.org/respond.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $700 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.