Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that he has directed the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to utilize $13.8 million in grant funding to support and expand mental health resources for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian.
DeSantis also awarded $1 million through the Florida Disaster Fund to help teachers and other school employees who suffered impacts from Hurricane Ian.
DeSantis also announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has obligated more than $500 million in public assistance funding to communities impacted by Hurricane Ian, and Florida’s first ever state led sheltering and housing program has installed more than 140 travel trailers for Floridians who lost their homes due to Hurricane Ian, more than the 80 total distributed by FEMA. The Florida Division of Emergency Management has more than 2,400 additional trailers ordered, and the governor has directed FDEM to cut through any red tape preventing trailers from reaching Floridians in need.
“The funding we awarded today is an important part of the recovery process,” said DeSantis. “We are committed to cutting red tape and getting temporary housing trailers delivered to these communities as fast as possible so they can accelerate the rebuilding process. We will continue to fund programs and fill the gaps for Floridians as they recover after Hurricane Ian.”
“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, the division continues to cut through unnecessary red tape and get impacted families into safe, temporary housing while they navigate the next steps in their recovery,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. “The Division is proud to support Floridians in times of need and will continue to work diligently to assist Hurricane Ian survivors and place trailers as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
DCF will utilize $13.8 million in grant funding to provide additional crisis counseling and mental health support for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, including on-site services at Family Resource Support Centers and expanding call lines and other resources for survivors. To date, DCF has provided crisis counseling to over 20,000 individuals struggling to recover following the storm. Additionally, DCF has utilized peer-support lines where survivors of Hurricane Ian can speak to survivors of Hurricane Michael.
The $1 million awarded through the Florida Disaster Fund will be awarded to support organizations of school districts in five of the hardest hit counties to support teachers and other school employees who were impacted by Hurricane Ian. Support organizations in the following counties will receive awards:
Lee County ($250,000)
Collier County ($250,000)
Sarasota County ($200,000)
Hardee County ($150,000)
DeSoto County ($150,000)
Organizations will use this funding to help teachers and school employees with affording essential items like food, gas, and baby supplies in addition to home repairs and addressing transportation challenges. This award is in addition to a previous award of $2 million the Governor made to the same organizations in October. Spearheaded by First Lady Casey DeSantis, the Florida Disaster fund has raised $63 million to support Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian. To donate, please visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222.
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