CARE: Still 46 families in its care

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The Commonwealth Advocates for Recovery Efforts group discusses the current progress of their recovery efforts during their third annual impact meeting yesterday at the Governor’s Office conference room. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

The non-profit organization that took up recovery efforts in the CNMI in the aftermath of Typhoon Soudelor in 2015 still has 46 families under its care that require assistance.

If funding is not secured by early February, it is highly possible that assistance to these families would run out, according to the group, the Commonwealth Advocates for Recovery Efforts, during its third annual impact meeting yesterday at the Office of the Governor.

As of January 2018, there are currently 46 families still awaiting assistance from CARE and it would take over $400,000 to serve them all, according to CARE board of directors chair Alex Sablan.

“There are still 46 families who need their homes either repaired or rebuilt and we’re about $480,000 away from that completion,” he said.

The funding has to be secured by Jan. 30 to keep the CARE volunteers working and to keep resources flowing in. If a source of funding is not secured, CARE volunteers would have to cease with the recovery efforts and possibly turn down requests by families.

“We need the money by the end of January in order to justify [helping these 46 families]. …When we try to leverage resources from [the Federal Emergency Management Agency], through the Mennonites Disaster Services, we have to have a plan in place. That plan requires there to have resources on the ground to actually keep them working. We will not have the resources after Jan. 30 so we need to have that money in before then,” said Sablan.

In talking about the progress that CARE has made in getting the island back to full recovery since Typhoon Soudelor, Sablan said the local government is currently working to provide CARE with the resources it needs as early as February so that recovery efforts would not be put on hold.

“We’ve been working with the governor and the Legislature. It looks like in the next few weeks…in early February… we should be able to get the complete dollars,” he said.

According to Sablan, once the group receives the $480,000 they need, CARE would be able to complete recovery efforts.

CARE executive director Maxine Laszlo said that they, along with their partners, are finding ways to get the resources they need in order to complete CARE’s mission.

“Right now, we are really well-positioned. Many of our representatives, our local government supporters, the Governor’s Office, everyone still truly cares about these families. It’s just a matter of when we will be able to find the resources,” she said.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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