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Lutheran Social Services official requests federal help to rebuild Minot

MINOT, ND – Shirley Dykshoorn, director of Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response, testified on the need for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to rebuild Minot at a CDBG hearing of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee held this afternoon at the Minot City Hall.

While considerable funds have already been raised through donors and grants, Dykshoorn cited a need for CDBG funding for materials and supplies to rebuild up to 500 homes.

“We estimate needing $15,000 more per house to bring the houses up to code,” Dykshoorn said. “With 480 houses to complete, that will require $7.2 million.”

Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response (formerly Lutheran Disaster Response) manages the Recovery Warehouse for building supplies and materials for the rebuilding. Funding of $825,000, a portion of an earlier $3.6 million grant received from the North Dakota Department of Emergency Management and the Adjutant General’s office, already has been earmarked for materials and supplies at Recovery Warehouse.

Dykshoorn noted that the agency has signed up 1,361 volunteers through Hope Village to work between now and Sept. 30 in Minot, representing $3.2 million dollars worth of volunteer labor.

All requests for rebuilding houses come through a case management process used to identify the houses to be rebuilt. The agency manages the reconstruction process by completing a “scope of work” assessment for each house and recruiting volunteers to complete the work in a supervised setting.

“Utilizing our processes to get the volunteers deployed, if we have the funds available to purchase the materials for the work to be completed, we should be able to bring 480 to 500 homes of Minot residents to a level of recovery so that homeowners can move back in and lives can be restored,” Dykshoorn told the Committee.

Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response has a contract with a North Dakota master’s level electrician to supervise all volunteer electricians coming to Minot and $100,000 to cover initial costs for this.

“We have an immediate need for funding to cover some of the fuel costs to get skilled workers up to Ward County to volunteer and have asked the Minot Area Community Foundation to support this,” Dykshoorn noted.

As a founding partner of Hope Village, Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response is part of this ecumenical effort located at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Minot that has a capacity to house and feed up to 250 volunteers daily.

“We have RV pads, bunk units, shower units, toilet units and a food service unit among other significant resources from many denominations to house volunteers this summer and beyond at Hope Village,” Dykshoorn stated.

Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response also utilizes Project Renew staff to do crisis counseling and outreach to disaster-affected areas statewide and particularly in Minot under a contract with the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response (formerly Lutheran Disaster Response) is a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota that provides help statewide through disaster preparedness training, disaster recovery response, coordination of volunteers, rebuilding houses and case management.

Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota is a nonprofit social services agency serving thousands of North Dakotans from offices in five cities with 19 programs that provide food, housing, disaster response, counseling and therapy and other social services to individuals, families and communities without regard to clients’ race, religion, gender or economic status.

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Shirley Dykshoorn, director, Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response, 701-271-3218 (Fargo) or 701-429-4730 (cell) or .

Kathryn Trill, Communications Manager, Lutheran Social Services of ND, 701-271-3289 (Fargo) or

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