Click brochure images to enlarge.
To date, 199 households in Monroe County have registered for FEMA’s Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power, or STEP, program. The $10 million grant program in the Keys provides up to $20,000 in repairs to primary homes damaged but not destroyed by Hurricane Irma.
It is not too late to apply for this program, but any homeowner who is interested should do so soon. Details are below.
The purpose of the rapid-repair program is to enable eligible individuals or families to take shelter in their own homes while they rebuild. This includes a functional kitchen, bathroom, sleeping area and air-conditioning for the livable area of the home. The program is at no cost to the homeowner.
So far 53 households throughout Monroe County have gone through the inspection phase and have been approved for repairs. The first construction work is scheduled to begin next week, as early as Monday, Dec. 11. The approved household locations include 20 on Big Pine Key, 16 on Marathon, six on Cudjoe Key, five on Summerland Key, two on Islamorada, two on Little Torch Key, one in Key West and one in Tavernier.
STEP is available for disaster-damaged, single-family, owner-occupied residential properties in Monroe County. These include duplexes, townhomes, modular homes and permanently placed mobile homes. Other types of owner-occupied residences may be eligible, subject to approval by the Federal Coordinating Officer on a case-by-case basis.
Disaster Recovery Centers offer in-person support to individuals and small business owners. Survivors still needing help may visit any DRC.
The DRCs are at the following addresses:
Key West (Monroe County)
The 6805 Building
3126 Flagler Ave.
Key West, FL 33040
Hours: Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
THIS LOCATION CLOSES DEC. 9 AT 7 P.M.
Marathon (Monroe County)
Old Bank of America Building, 6805 Overseas Highway
Marathon, FL 33050
Hours: Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
THIS LOCATION CLOSES DEC. 9 AT 3 P.M.
Monroe County homeowners and renters impacted by Hurricane Irma have received nearly $53 million in assistance for housing and other recovery needs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Here are some facts about FEMA assistance provided to Monroe County residents:
• Since Hurricane Irma struck on Sept. 10, FEMA has provided $52.9 million in grants to Monroe County homeowners and renters for uninsured damage to their primary residence and serious losses related to Hurricane Irma.
• About 15,700 Monroe County households have received FEMA grants, which can include money for temporary rental assistance, home repairs and other needs not covered by insurance, such as replacing destroyed personal property.
• About 8,800 Monroe County households have been provided rental assistance money from FEMA. Many families have received two months of rental assistance. This enables survivors to rent an available rental property and check out of hotels.
The Tampa Bay Rays yesterday donated a total of $100,000 in grants to 12 nonpro t organizations located in the Florida Keys, providing relief from Hurricane Irma. The organizations were selected by researching nonpro t organizations in the areas hardest hit, talking to individuals who are in the area providing relief and consulting with Rays community partners for recommendations.
In addition, several Rays staff members donated supplies to the Florida Keys SPCA, Southernmost Homeless Assistance League, Inc. and Wes- ley House Family Services, and volunteered in an estuary clean-up proj- ect while in the Florida Keys on a week-long trip.
Recipient organizations and their Hurricane Irma relief missions include:
- AIDS Help: to provide rental and utility assistance to those unexpectedly unemployed or underemployed; facili- tate relocation, as warranted; determine access to emergency healthcare and offer mental health counseling to the anguished and anxious; replenish basic needs; and implement resource identi cation to every member of the community.
- Community Foundation Florida Keys: to provide relief and recovery to Florida Keys residents from Key Largo to Key West affected by Hurricane Irma through helping them get their lives and homes back in order with repairs, transportation needs, rent, utilities, clothing, food, housing, medical supplies and childcare.
- Domestic Abuse Shelter of the Florida Keys: to rebuild Middle Keys Shelter, which was severely impacted by Irma. The organization provides comprehensive services for individuals and families experiencing domestic abuse.
- Florida Audubon Society: to assess and rebuild nesting platforms for ospreys, and to continue supporting popu- lation monitoring projects such as the Florida Keys Hawkwatch.
- Florida Keys Children’s Shelter: to provide shelter, clothing, food and counseling to Florida Keys children as their families rebuild after Irma.
- Florida Keys Community College: to provide nancial support to students and employees whose needs include housing, transportation, textbooks, laptops, school supplies and lost jobs.
- Mote Marine Laboratory: to repair damage to the exterior infrastructure to the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration, which includes the coral raceway systems, specialized tanks and chillers.
- Redemption Impact: to support families and veterans affected by Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys through adopting a family in need, distributing items, providing labor and consoling family members who are having a tough time coping with reality.
- Reef Relief, Inc.: to improve and protect the coral reef ecosystem by engaging the entire community in its envi- ronmental literacy efforts with a special focus placed on youth education.
- Southernmost Homeless Assistance League, Inc.: to help fund the daily breakfast served to homeless resi- dents each morning.
- Keys Vineyard Community Church: to provide relief to families in need with food and supplies.
- Wesley House Family Services: to provide new toys to children in need this holiday season through the Holiday
Helpers of the Florida Keys program.
As of Wednesday morning, 38 homeowners have registered for FEMA’s Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power program known as STEP. This new grant program only has been implemented twice before – after Superstorm Sandy in the Northeast and following flooding in and around Baton Rouge, La.
STEP is a rapid repair program which enables eligible individuals or families whose homes were damaged due to Hurricane Irma to take shelter in their own homes while they rebuild. This includes a functional kitchen, bathroom, sleeping area and air-conditioning for this livable area of the home. The program is at no cost to the homeowner.
The last of three public meetings about the STEP program will be held tonight (Nov. 8), from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sugarloaf School, 225 Crane Blvd, Sugarloaf Key.
To apply for the STEP program, call the STEP hotline at 1-800-960-5860. It is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. After applying by phone, required documentation can be scanned and emailed to Step@monroecounty-fl.gov.
In an effort to quickly get recovery funds into the hands of survivors, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program has enhanced the flood insurance claims process with changes to how you file your claim. If you’re a policyholder, understand the process and options to speed your recovery from Hurricane Irma.
Advance payments may be available to eligible policyholders. After filing your claim, discuss an advance payment with your insurer.
• You may receive a check for up to $5,000 as an advance payment on your flood claim without an adjuster visit or additional documentation. Along with the advance payment, you will receive a letter explaining that by accepting payment, you certify you have the flood damage claimed.
• Up to $20,000 may be available in advance payments if you provide photographs and receipts validating the out-of-pocket expenses related to your flood loss or a contractor’s itemized estimate.
Advance payments are deducted from the final claim settlement amount and may only be used according to the terms of the Standard Flood Policy. In the meantime, don’t wait to clean up your home. Take photos or video footage of flood-damaged property, then immediately remove flood-damaged items — especially those that may pose a health risk, such as perishable food items, clothing, cushions, pillows, etc. For more information about safely cleaning up after the flood, click here.
Keys nonprofit organizations can learn more by visiting ORCF’s new Facebook page to find the Hurricane-Related Application link: https://www.facebook.com/
• Florida Keys Outreach Coalition (FKOC): Provides sheltering for men, women and families. Some facilities are accessible for persons with access and functional needs. It includes 38 beds for homeless. A recent grant from the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys has helped increase capacity. FKOC also can help Hurricane Irma survivors who have found housing, but need assistance with first and last month’s rent and security deposit. Contact: 305-295-7741
• Samuel’s House: Has funding to help Hurricane Irma survivor’s with first and last month’s rent, security deposit, utilities and medical. Keysstrong.org is providing some emergency assistance when people are being immediately evicted. Contact: 305-296-0240
• Catholic Charities: Has a rapid rehousing program, which includes first and last month’s rent and security deposit. Also has funds available for people being evicted from leased homes, as well as for mortgage and utility assistance. Contact: 305-292-9790
In the weeks immediately following Hurricane Irma, United Way of the Florida Keys has distributed over $20,000 in direct aid in the form of store gift cards and cleaning supplies and tools. The organization also disbursed $52,700 in emergency “mini-grants” to eight local, established partner nonprofits directly serving individuals and families impacted by the storm. Additionally, $45,000 was dedicated toward hotel rooms to assist residents in the Upper Keys left homeless due to Irma-related damages to their homes.
This week, UWFK will allocate another $80,000 in additional mini-grants to 16 previously vetted partner agencies, including Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, Burton Memorial Church, Southernmost Boys & Girls Clubs, KAIR, Star of the Sea Mission Outreach and many others. Further, an application for an additional $100,000 worth of funding is open to any human service nonprofit engaged in hurricane recovery and rebuilding efforts at http://www.keysunitedway.org/uwfk-mini-grants-hurricane-irma-relief. There is also a link to the application on the UWFK homepage.