RAPID CITY, S.D. -- Disaster assistance for survivors of the early June storms that struck the Pine Ridge Reservation has reached more than $1.7 million, according to the latest statistics.
A total of $1,739,603 has been approved for various state and federal disaster programs associated with the recovery effort, including Disaster Housing, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low interest loan program, Infrastructure, the Individual & Family Grant Program, Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Crisis Counseling.
Nearly $466,000 has been approved for Disaster Housing; $381,564 for immediate home repair assistance and $85,818 for rental assistance. FEMA's disaster housing assistance pays for essential repairs needed to make the residence livable and also provides for temporary housing accommodations for families displaced by the disaster. All eligible applicants placed in temporary housing should be moved into permanent facilities by mid-September.
- Of the 40 mobile homes originally placed in the staging area on the reservation, 30 have been set up and have families living in them.
- Thirty-nine travel trailers are currently providing temporary housing for families displaced by the disaster. A total of 50 travel trailers were in use at the peak of the housing crisis. This number is gradually decreasing as families move into winterized mobile homes or return to their primary residence.
- Work on the Mobile Home Group Site is well underway. Once the site work is completed, installation of sewer risers, water service, meter pits, freezeless risers and hydrant settings will begin. Site grading, roads and electric utility installation must also be completed prior to moving families into the mobile homes. The site will accommodate 45 mobile homes.
- Once the construction of foundations for the Governor's Homes is completed, and final preparations made, the twenty-two units will be ready for occupancy by eligible applicants.
- FEMA housing inspectors are completing the last phase of their damage assessment of homes affected by the disaster. A total of 1,052 locations have been inspected since the program began.
- The Crisis Counseling Center continues to offer services to those affected by the storms and tornadoes. FEMA's grant reinforces existing disaster crisis counseling and outreach services being provided by the State Division of Mental Health. The state application for additional funding is underway, and if approved could provide up to nine additional months of counseling services.
- The latest issue of the Disaster Recovery Newsletter included articles on disaster-related stress in children; progress on the Mobile Home Group Site, the Pine Ridge Reservation Disaster Recovery Committee; and the latest interview with the Spirit of the Lakota feature.
- The long-term Pine Ridge Reservation Disaster Recovery Committee is comprised of non-profit organizations, many currently involved in the recovery effort. Their task is to identify disaster survivor's unmet critical needs and help guide long-term recovery efforts on the reservation.
- The First National Bank of Gordon, NE continues to accept donations to the Oglala Victims Fund. Additional information is available by calling the bank at 308-282-0050.
- $380,163 has been approved for immediate home repair assistance
- $85,818 has been approved for rental assistance
- The U. S. Small Business Administration has approved $417,600 in low interest loans