New Grant Opportunity to Address Hurricane Recovery Efforts Available

Categories: Stories of Impact, Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund,

To address the community’s ongoing, long-term recovery from Hurricane Ian, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County announces the first in a series of competitive grant cycles specific to disaster recovery, which will be opened April 5, 2023.

After Hurricane Ian swept through Southwest Florida, causing billions of dollars in damages, the Community Foundation partnered with The Patterson Foundation to activate the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund to address long-lasting impacts on people's lives anticipating the needs that emerge long after the initial emergency.

Nearly 1,000 donors made $5 million in gifts to be a resource once the true impact of the storm could be assessed, and those gifts could be directed toward improving the sustainability and resiliency of our community.

“Disaster recovery – versus disaster response – requires the patience to listen and then build a thoughtful strategy that puts the people most affected in a place of empowerment,” said Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “While we applaud the immediate responses to Hurricane Ian, we chose to focus on longer term recovery and have the communities impacted tell us where they need help when they are at a place that can be assessed and shared. This is a people-centric approach.”

Grant proposals focused on these areas will receive priority:

  • Case Management
  • Children & Youth Services/Education
  • Home Repair and Housing Needs
  • Legal Services
  • Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) and Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) support
  • Mental and Behavioral Health

An initial grant cycle opens April 5 and will close on April 28, 2023. Eligible recipients are 501(c)3 public charities with programs that support recovery and resiliency with local impact in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte or DeSoto county. Applicants must have a current profile in The Giving Partner, a powerful, searchable online database with more than 700 profiles of local charitable organizations.

For more information about the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund or to apply for a grant, visit the Community Foundation of Sarasota County website.

The purpose of the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund is to support and benefit Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte Counties for disaster recovery to improve individual, family, and community resiliency, helping people rebuild their lives beyond initial rebuilding of structures. Successful recovery will support individuals and families to be able to rebound from their losses and sustain their physical, social, economic, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, and restore structures, systems, and services, as well as address sources of inequitable and unjust outcomes.

Through research, site visits, and listening sessions with the most impacted communities, the priorities listed above surfaced as both typical disaster recovery funding gaps as well as areas of enduring need throughout the four-county region. In most cases, these challenges existed prior to Hurricane Ian and the crisis exacerbated them.