Bay County's Disaster Case Management Program helps hundreds
The Community Recovery Center has new place to call home.
The center moved from the Bay County Public Library to its new location off of 15th street near Tennessee Avenue. Bay County officials say the place is more accessible for storm victims and will allow them to provide more services in-house to those still recovering from Hurricane Michael.
"We have offices now and that's great for individual counselling sessions and case management sessions. We weren't able to have that at the library,” said Community Recovery Center Onsite Administrator Jo Shaffer.
Official say they can also have more space for providers like Pancare to stop by and talk about their services.
Hundreds of local families have worked with the Bay County Community Recovery Center's Disaster Case Management Program since it started in January. More than than 16 months after Hurricane Michael, many are still trying to make repairs and work with insurance companies to rebuild their homes.
"They may have not received as much money as they thought they were owed. So therefore they've started their projects and completed their projects,” said Susan Marticek with Disaster Case Management.
One of the biggest concern is finding affordable housing especially for renters.
"They just don't see the construction of those units coming online in the near future. They are people that were trying to figure out what to do but it is dire situations to try to find that housing right now,” said Marticek.
Susan Marticek with the disaster case management program says they're currently working with 700 homeowners and renters. One on one to help them make recovery plans.
"Just get connected to us so we can keep you in the mix and as resources come online we can hopefully connect them to you,” said Marticek.
Marticek said her New-Jersey based non-profit organization, Compass 82, helped thousands recover from hurricane sandy, which is why Florida hired the organization to work with the CRC to do this program.
"We're hoping that we can bring some of that experience we've had in New Jersey and South Florida and bring it here to Bay County to see 'how can we do it better here, how can we get people home faster here,” said Marticek.
Marticek said their free program is also housed at the Community Recovery Center's new location and ends in October. They have a hotline, (850) 848-4357, for people in need of their