Hurricane Michael Recovery Funding Awarded to Harvest Worship Center
~First House of Worship to receive federal public assistance funding in Florida~
Today, the Florida Division of Emergency Management announced that Harvest Worship Center in Panama City will receive an initial $25,000 in public assistance funding from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for Hurricane Michael recovery. The funding will be used to reimburse the center for certain costs of hurricane clean-up and recovery, including staff who provided meals for emergency workers, emergency roof repairs and debris removal. This funding is the first federal disaster funding awarded to a House of Worship in Florida.
DEM Director Jared Moskowitz said, “Houses of Worship help people in need on a daily basis, including during disasters, and I’m glad that FEMA has made them eligible for federal recovery dollars. Many of these facilities were damaged by Hurricane Michael and are in need of repair. It’s important to get this funding out as we remain committed to expediting funding to ensure the Panhandle recovers stronger than before.”
On January 2, 2018, FEMA announced that Houses of Worship would become eligible for disaster assistance as community centers, without regard to their secular or religious nature. Following Hurricane Michael, for the first time in Florida, Houses of Worship became eligible for federal disaster recovery funding. Approximately 30 percent of Hurricane Michael public assistance applicants are Houses of Worship.
Following the direction by Governor DeSantis last month to expedite funding for communities impacted by Hurricane Michael, the Division has worked to provide funding as quickly as possible, including recently providing $2 million in public assistance to Mexico Beach. On January 24, 2019, Governor DeSantis announced additional federal reimbursement for the Panhandle, find more on that announcement HERE.
Harvest Worship Center also provides child care services, and this funding will help to expedite needed repairs to their child care facilities. For more information about Harvest Worship Center, visit http://www.harvestchurchpanamacity.com/.