When disaster strikes, the path to recovery can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, residents of Charlotte County may find solace in knowing that there is a network of organizations and resources available to support them during these challenging times. From immediate emergency response to long-term recovery, the county offers a range of financial, legal, and health services to help individuals and communities rebuild and heal. This article will explore how and where to access assistance in Charlotte County.
For Charlotte County, completing the Long-Term Recovery Assistance Application is the first step in determining your eligibility to receive financial or repair assistance and case management to help in your recovery from the damage caused by Hurricane Ian. Our goal is to connect you with all the services available to you.
Start your application process by going to www.coadfl.org and pressing the “Complete Application” button.
Mental Health –Project HOPE
Project Hope is a Crisis Counseling Assistance Program funded by FEMA and SAMHSA. The mission of the Project is to assist individuals and communities in recovering from the effects of natural and human-caused disasters through community-based outreach and educational resources. It is designed to add to and strengthen programs already existing in our community by promoting recovery, adaptability, and empowerment.
To receive assistance from Project Hope, call 941-347-6422 or visit their website at www.cbhcfl.org.
For parents and guardians of young children, the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida offers an array of services from free Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) registration, school readiness programs, financial assistance for childcare programs, and more.
To contact the Early Learning Coalition, call 239-935-6100 or visit their website at www.elcofswfl.org.
Legal Assistance and FEMA Appeals
To file and submit your FEMA appeal, get access to other federal assistance, or check the status of an existing application go to www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362
For assistance in filing your FEMA appeal and other legal services regarding tenant rights after a hurricane, the Florida Rural Legal Services has resources you can access at www.frls.org/hurricane-ian-relief or call at 1-888-582-3410
Medical Assistance Resources
The Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic provides qualified Charlotte County residents with no-cost, onsite exams, primary and semi-urgent wellness services, medical care, minor procedures, and access to limited surgical and laboratory services.
The clinic is open Monday – Friday, 9AM – 3PM. Call to schedule at 941-766-9580 or go to their website at www.volunteercare.org.
Rent or Utilities Assistance - Help Paying Bills
For assistance in playing bills for utility costs, rent, or mortgage, the Charlotte Country website includes the steps walking applicants through their Fastrack program which allows applicants to fill out one form for multiple funding sources and grants that may help with bills and getting things back on track.
Access these steps at www.charlottecountyfl.gov/departments/human-services/help-paying-bills.stml or call at 941-833-6500.
Small Business Administration Assistance
The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners from declared disasters. SBA offers multiple types of disaster loans including physical damage loans, mitigation assistance, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, and Military reservist loans.
Learn more about this assistance at www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.
United at Work
The United Way of Charlotte County has partnered with the Elsa & Peter Soderberg Charitable Foundation to provide emergency assistance to victims of Hurricane Ian who are employed in Charlotte County. This assistance is for individuals who have already applied for assistance through FEMA.
Apply for this aid at www.unitedwayccfl.org/gethelp or call the Charlotte County United Way at 941-627-3539