In a county fairly brimming with citizen committees, one of the most-recently formed might carry the most importance.
The Citizens of Gulf County Recovery Team, the committee formed to spearhead the long-term recovery from Hurricane Michael, will host residents and organizations 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. ET Saturday at First United Methodist Church of Port St. Joe.
“This meeting will be used as a time for the board of directors of the recovery team to share with the community their goals and report on current and future activities,” said Robyn Rennick, a member of the committee’s board.
The committee, and most especially public participation, has been an emphasis for FEMA officials since Hurricane Michael.
The committee, all volunteer, was formed during a series of organizational meetings with more than 100 participants earlier this year to coordinate and collaborate with the many moving parts of recovery, from individuals to organizations.
The public is encouraged to attend as well as those agencies which will play important roles in the recovery, including faith-based, non-profit and government agencies.
Representatives from organizations such as FEMA, SBA, Catholic Charities, United Way, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Project Hope (Life Management Center) and Capital Area Community Action Committee will be on hand to assist residents.
And members of the public can join in the effort.
“You will also be able to sign up for committee participation,” said Vicki Abrams, the chair of the Citizens of Gulf County Recovery Team. “We want to have citizen participation as well as that of our organizations involved in the recovery of individuals and families.”
The board, Abrams noted, is “dedicated and hard-working board with active committee members” but of equal significance is “a robust membership of organizations that can ensure we reach the desired outcome.”
One of the first steps for the committee is a community needs assessment (see related story).
Funded with seed money from the United Way, the community needs assessment will be conducted by World Renew.
The goal of the committee is to maintain a network of organizations while working toward a coordinated long-term recovery effort.
“This organization was established to serve as a collaborative for local organizations, working together to assist in the long-term recovery for individuals affected by Hurricane Michael,” Abrams said.
“The recovery team will work with member organizations to reduce the occurrence of duplication of services and to more effectively expedite services to individuals and families.”