SBP's COVID-19 RESPONSE

Now more than ever, HOME is an essential and life-saving part of the human experience. Thousands of families are sheltering in their homes during this crisis because of SBPeople like you. Disasters usually bring people together to help those in need. Now we’re being told that the best way to help is to stay away and that is foreign to SBPeople. We want to use this opportunity to share with you how we are still helping, albeit in a different way.

Now more than ever, our values are guiding our actions.

WEAR YOUR HARD HAT:

Protect yourself. You’ll be better prepared to invest in others. Now more than ever, it’s essential to take an active role in creating a safe environment in which to live AND work. Make sure your home is protected from spring storm and summer hurricane seasons. Here are “5 Quick Things” you can do to prepare:

1) Document your home inventory with video or pictures

2) Scan your important documents to the cloud

3) Document your important contacts

4) Obtain flood insurance (if you already have flood insurance, check out this update from FEMA)

5) Take an e-learning course on sbpprotects.org

STEER THROUGH TURBULENCE:

We started this year enthusiastically with aggressive goals and a theme of “the year of performance.” This year was going to be the year where we rebuilt more homes, hosted more volunteers and trained more people than ever before. And just as the flywheel started spinning, the threat of the coronavirus became a reality. It was heartbreaking to have to pause these plans, and even more devastating to think of the families who rely on SBP to complete their path to recovery.

  • Operations Update: We have suspended traditional operations at our 11 sites. Our volunteers are being mindful and physically distancing and we are grateful for their commitment to flatten the curve. That said, our model relies on volunteer labor. Last year alone, volunteers saved SBP $3.5 million in labor costs, so this crisis is going to impact our cost per home. We fully intend to make up for lost time as soon as it is safe to do so. In the past two weeks, we have executed a complete audit of all our active rebuilding projects and those in the pipeline. It’s important to note, we have identified those clients for which it is safe to use subcontractors to complete the work necessary to move families home. We have about 30 homes under construction using subcontractors in several communities where we operate. This is about a 75% significant decrease in our build operations from where we should be at this time.
  • Our Team: SBP staff and AmeriCorps members are actively working from home - we are addressing client, team and community needs, making progress to our 2020 goals and taking advantage of the time to work through additional trainings ensuring we will be more efficient and ready to hit the ground running when we return to traditional work.

MOM RULE:

At SBP, we go about our work as if it were our own loved ones impacted by disaster. This core value coupled with our culture of problem-solving means we are committed to innovating and supporting in any way we can. This is not a time for branding, it’s a time for impact.

  • SBP continues to support the long-term recovery of communities impacted by the tornadoes in Tennessee. Though we have temporarily suspended on-the-ground operations we are still supporting disaster case management, advising philanthropic leaders and advocating for FEMA to implement new methods for assessing damage and calculating awards for disaster survivors.
  • We are launching webinars for other NGOs to share what we have learned about the CARES Act and the Payroll Protection Act that is a part of it. Providing this type of training aligns with our SHARE intervention and our push to innovate in a time of necessity. By providing this particular training, NGOs will learn how to access available resources and be able to continue to focus on meeting their missions.

CURIOUS CONNECTORS:

SBPeople are question askers, answer seekers, dot connectors and value creators. There’s no better way to shrink time between disaster and recovery than banding together and sharing best practices.

  • We are reaching out to each of our clients, past and present, across the country to ask how they are, offer our support and share community resources. It has been really meaningful to our staff and AmeriCorps and to our clients. There are so many stories but we’ll share just one here:
    We connected with Felicia who has lived with her son in an SBP “Opportunity Home” in New Orleans for nearly four years. Felicia found our program because she and her son lived across the street from her new home in a building that was never rehabbed after Katrina. Felicia and her son are well but are struggling, like so many, because of COVID-19. With school canceled, she doesn’t have childcare and mass transit schedules have been cut, making it really difficult to work. She made it clear she was close to reaching her breaking point. Our team spent time with her on the phone, shared community resources and helped her navigate an application for financial support.
  • Double Entrée is a new program we are launching in New Orleans with a double aim - combat food insecurity and support restaurants and their employees. Through the Payroll Protection Act within the CARES Act, restaurants are able to keep their employees on the payroll and prepare meals for those in need. We’re sharing our knowledge, connecting those who can help with those who are in need and, all the while, supporting seniors, families and small businesses.
  • We are proud to partner with Farmers Insurance to provide the Los Angeles Fire Department with necessary personal protective equipment to ensure those on the front lines remain safe as they serve at COVID-19 testing sites.

TIME MATTERS, OWN YOUR ROUTE:

We’re in the middle of tornado and spring flood season, and soon hurricane season will begin. While the biggest threat to most folks is COVID-19, and people are sheltering at home, we are pushing the importance of preserving homes through preparedness education.

  • Our “5 Quick Things Virtual Coffee Break” webinars are being offered to employers to provide their employees with quick, easy-to-take steps to prepare their homes before the next disaster while at home.
  • The most devastated community will be the one that gets hit with a disaster in the next 3-6 months. SBP is exploring how we can support thinking around what disaster response will look like, including new ways to shelter, if COVID-19 is still a threat.

2020 IS THE YEAR OF PERFORMANCE

We are still looking at this year as the “year of performance,” but our impact will look a little different for the time being. We are ever mindful that spring storms are upon us and hurricane season is just eight weeks away and we MUST be prepared to respond to the next disaster. Now more than ever, we need support. If you are able to donate, please know your donation will have a direct human impact.