The 2018 hurricane season has been extraordinarily active in parts of the U.S., with Hurricane Florence currently impacting millions in the Carolinas. As this natural disaster unfolds, the staff here at VolunteerMatch is doing its part to ensure that, if you are in an affected community, you are prepared and safe. And if you are looking to help with disaster relief efforts, you know about the most effective ways to contribute.
To provide housing to displaced individuals in need due to an emergency, disaster or catastrophe by connecting responsible, charitable people and organizations.
HEED (Housing for Emergency Evacuated and Displaced) was created to offer a temporary housing resource to individuals who are forced out of their homes due to an emergency. In times of natural disasters, such as wild fires, tornadoes, floods, etc., families are often evacuated from their homes for safety purposes. No one knows how long each evacuation will last, and no one knows if the family will have a home to return to at the disaster's end. Due to her personal experience with the Cerro Grande fire in Los Alamos New Mexico, Kristin Derr created HEED to assist evacuees in finding temporary housing in times of emergency. Using a web based database, HEED asks individuals who have a space available to enter it as a possible host location. Spaces can range from one guest bedroom, to an empty lot with water and electric hook up, to an empty house. Potential hosts submit their information via a form posted on the organization’s website and that space is then listed in the database of temporary housing locations. When an emergency strikes, those who are evacuated can depend on HEED to find temporary housing. HEED will be accessible to those individuals in person at emergency control stations, online through the website, and over the phone. Once an evacuee contacts HEED and explains what kind of space they are in need of, HEED will match them with an appropriate space. During and following an emergency, evacuees have so much to deal with, physically, emotionally, financially, etc. HEED strives to take one of these tasks off the table by placing evacuees in spaces provided by caring and supportive individuals. All areas of the United States are threatened by some form of natural disaster, so we anticipate the organization being beneficial throughout the country. Above all, HEED is committed to providing this service in a safe and responsible manner.