Demonstrating a bit of nimbleness, the Gulf County Citizens Long-Term Recovery Committee has pivoted from one disaster to another.


The committee, established last year to help spearhead the community’s long-term recovery from Hurricane Michael, is reaching out with assistance for those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.


Particularly those who are stressed, anxious, depressed or unsure about the present and future, in need of emotional or spiritual assistance, and, let us be straightforward, who doesn’t that cover these days.


The Recovery Committee has established a helpline and links to available resources and current accurate information to help individuals with their health and recovery.


“As part of our continuing missions to support the ongoing recovery of Gulf County and create more resilient communities, we are offering a Resource and Referral Helpline,” said Nancy Stuart, executive director of the Citizens Recovery Committee.


“We have put together a nice set of resources and referral capability, and are adding as we find more, and will use the main phone number to answer calls and help get people to the right agency.”


That phone number is 270-8911 and assistance is available 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. ET.


“We are using Mental Health First Aid standard protocols and will not be providing counseling,” Stuart said. “Just listening and getting people to the right resource if they need it.”


The Citizens Recovery Committee also emphasizes that if you need immediate mental health assistance contact the following resources:


*National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255);


*SAMSA Disaster Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 or;


*Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741-741.


“We are there for you,” Stuart added.


And on another front, while vastly premature, the Citizens Recovery Committee has also tentatively offered its new warehouse to the county in the event the facility might be needed to medical demands should the coronavirus outbreak descend in force on the county.


Stuart said the committee approached some members of the Board of County Commissioners about worst-case scenarios.


“Better to be prepared,” Stuart said.


Back to Michael recovery, the Citizens Committee was also recently awarded a $30,000 grant from the American Red Cross for Hurricane Michael recovery.


In short strokes, the grant would help fund an objective to engage volunteers to support repair/replacement of 50 roofs, two complete home rebuilds and 35 individual home repairs.


In addition, the Recovery Committee would recruit another 200 volunteers to support six community events.


The American Red Cross dollars would assist in bringing on board up to 500 volunteers, according to the grant application.