Recovery Still Underway on the North Shore

Published on June 15, 2018 

In March of 2016, historic flooding ravaged areas of the North Shore, destroying homes and leaving residents with a long road to recovery ahead of them. As soon as the flood waters receded, Catholic Charities case managers were on the ground assessing the damage, distributing food, offering counseling and helping those affected begin to pick up the pieces.

Since then, Catholic Charities Spirit of Hope Disaster Case Management Program (DCMP) has offered more than $2 million in services to those renovating, rebuilding and working towards recovery. Case managers continue to work with those who are still in need.

North Shore resident Debra Smith, who is elderly, disabled and lives alone, was one of those affected looking for assistance in the immediate aftermath. Wind-driven rain had left the roof of her home extensively damaged, which was in turn damaging the house’s ceilings and insulation.

With a limited income and no means of transportation, she was forced to continue living there while mold and further damage began to spread.

“I knew that it needed to be repaired, but I just didn’t have the money. I didn’t know what to do – only to pray,” Debra said.

Debra Smith (L) and CCANO Case Manager Connie Bovingdon (R)

About a month after the floods, FEMA representatives assessed the damage and added her information to a list of those looking for help. Luckily, she was then referred to Catholic Charities case manager Connie Bovingdon.

Connie worked with Debra to assess the damage and begin searching for both someone to fix it and a way to pay for it. Thanks to Connie’s persistence, Debra’s prayers and a construction crew’s hard work, Debra’s roof was soon repaired.

“The construction crew they sent to do the work did a fantastic job,” Debra said of the repairs to her home.

Soon after, it rained again. Debra anxiously sat in her newly renovated home and waited for the rain to come through her roof; when it didn’t, she was thankful and overjoyed and all the work that had been done for her.

Debra was so moved by the generosity shown to her that she wrote a letter to Catholic Charities thanking the organization, Connie, the construction crew and all those involved in her recovery process!

“Working with this client was a joy,” Connie shared. “She’s just a sweet lady that is grateful for the help she’s received.”