Disaster relief cash runs low for Northern Wisconsin’s nonprofits

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Emergency services from charitable groups in the Superior/Douglas County area following June’s flood remain in high demand, but money to help is running low.

Judy Hanne Gonzalez is the Director of the Northland Red Cross Chapter in Duluth. She says that the job is nowhere near done. But she says they have started to help people by referring them because all their needs just can’t be met by the Red Cross. Although they can’t help with things like a new sump pump or a washer or drier, the Red Cross will still support those local agencies that can. “Our mission is to provide for emergency needs,” she says. “So the sheltering, mass care, feeding, things like that, providing emergency clothing for people, that’s what the red cross does and we work closely with our other partners to provide referrals for the more long term needs that they have.”

Catholic Community Services Director Terry Hendrick says although they are starting to run out of funding they are still helping people. They have already helped more than 50 households in the Duluth/Superior area working alongside the St. Vincent De Paul Society to help pay for replacing major appliances like water heaters and sump pumps. Although the demand for their help has gone down, they still see people in their office daily. “We have addressed issues with a number of households, a number of immediate issues; we have also asked some people that if they continue to run into issues to check back with us,” he says.

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Hendrick and Catholic Charities Housing Counseling and St. Vincent De Paul are continuing to help until they run out of money but that might not be the case for the Red Cross.

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