United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) is always there to help those in need throughout our six-county area. But for more than a year now, thanks to a global pandemic and the countless challenges associated with it, more people than ever have found themselves struggling in one way or another – and UWCA has responded in kind. The instant devastation of a tornado on top of that, however, has created long-term needs in our community that require extraordinary attention.
That’s why your United Way has been leading the long-term recovery effort following the January 25th tornado in Jefferson County. By not only raising money but also by bringing a wide variety of organizations together, we’re able to pool our capabilities and match them to individuals’ needs in a highly effective and efficient way. Bham Now recently published an article about this innovative approach to meeting unmet needs long after the initial recovery efforts have ended. We invite you to take a few moments to read the story here.
The American Red Cross is a key partner in the long-term recovery effort. Red Cross case workers walk alongside storm victims to help them take the first steps to recover and rebuild their lives. They have provided financial assistance to 535 individuals whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the January and March tornadoes. These individuals are spread out across our six-county footprint. Each with different needs. When necessary, the Red Cross works with partner agencies, such as Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA), to provide translation services to overcome communication barriers.
Individuals with disabilities can receive specialized care from their team of licensed mental health and healthcare professionals. These professionals can perform virtual appointments to help meet their clients’ physical and mental health needs, including referrals. Since January, their team has made more than 350 health and mental health referrals to the victims of both storms.