Inside the Naples Disaster Assistance Center

The Salvation Army Naples Regional Coordinate has transitioned from Hurricane Irma emergency relief to recovery and has emerged as one of the lead agencies in the Collier County for disaster response.

The FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers and U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Business Recovery Centers, have closed throughout southwest Florida.

The Salvation Army Operation Lasting Hope Disaster Assistance Centers (DAC) in Naples and Immokalee are open and the only place in Collier County where survivors can meet face to face with Casework Specialists. Additionally, Casework Specialists are driving ‘mobile offices’ into the southernmost regions of Collier County.

Casework Specialists help survivors to leverage all available resources to meet unmet needs caused by Hurricane Irma. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration moved into the Naples DAC, and customer service representatives are available to meet with business owners and residents to answer questions, explain SBA’s disaster loan program and close their approved disaster loans. Business owners and residents can meet with SBA representatives on the days and times indicated. No appointment is necessary. Applicants for disaster loans may apply online using the electronic loan application via SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Half of the survivors coming to the DACs are seeking assistance with writing and filing an appeal with FEMA.

Hurricane Irma survivors residing in Collier County with unmet needs should visit the Salvation Army Operation Lasting Hope Disaster Assistance Centers (DAC) first. Qualified Irma survivors will receive financial assistance, in-kind donations but more importantly, have an advocate.

The Salvation Army Casework Specialists will:

  • Ask for a description of the property damage.
  • Examine FEMA paperwork, insurance policy, and Small Business Administration (SBA) letters.
  • Go over the SHIP Disaster Relief Program with Collier County and discuss options.
  • Identify where the survivor is in FEMA’s Sequence of Delivery chart.
  • Help survivors write and file an appeal with FEMA.
  • Discuss the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) category within FEMA.
  • Review applicable grant opportunities. (Note: The scope of available programs are evolving as resources become available.)
  • Provide applications and determine what additional paperwork the household will need to provide.

Survivors come in feeling helpless and leave feeling empowered and in charge of their recovery!

The Salvation Army Operation Lasting Hope Disaster Assistance Programs:

  1. We will serve 1,500 households (limit $1,000 per household) with 1.5 million in direct assistance in Phase 1
  2. United Way of Collier County Home & Automobile Insurance Deductible Program $150,000 – funds may be used towards a $1,500 limit per household for automobile deductible and $3,000 limit per household for homeowners. Survivors may apply for one category only. The determination is based on need.
  3. Schulze First Responders & Educators Disaster Assistance Program and Schulze Aspiring Earners & Seniors Budgeting on Fixed Incomes Disaster Assistance Program – $380,000 – funds may be used to replace appliances, for home repairs, and to pay a monthly rental/mortgage payment. Items pertaining to other unmet needs will be considered on a case by case basis. $500 – $2,500 limit per household. The determination is based on need.

For more additional program information visit: http://bit.ly/olhswfl

We are proud to serve on the Immokalee Unmet Needs Coalition, Communities of the Everglades Disaster Recovery Committee, Marco Island Human Service Committee (soon to be a Long-Term Recovery), and Goodland Civic Association. Also, DAC employees serve on the Immokalee Unmet Needs Coalition Board, Executive Committee, Housing Committee and Case Management Committee.

The DACs are open to organizations assisting Hurricane Irma survivors. We anticipate being operational for nine months to one year, so we can transition from recovery to long-term recovery if needed. 

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