Grantee Blog 2020

Trauma-Informed Strategies for a crisis response to Tropical Storm Ida

Tropical Storm Ida has had a devastating impact in Bergen County. Some of the hardest-hit areas included the 3rd and 4th Wards of Englewood. More than 150 seniors have been displaced and are now temporarily living in local hotels. Whole families lost their homes; low-income housing communities were flooded and evacuated; over 200 cars were destroyed and abandoned; multiple dwelling homes have been emptied of beds, furniture, and life possessions. Many children started school while living in emergency/temporary shelters. Our only local supermarket was flooded and remains closed.

All of this combined with the ongoing fear and risk of COVID 19 has exacerbated mental health concerns and economic instability for many families.

Integrating our trauma-informed strategies with intentional interventions that reflect an anti-racist approach has been pivotal to our crisis response.


Community Engagement/ Partnership

We rely on the strength of our community partnerships to meet the identified and urgent needs of individuals and families impacted and displaced by one of the worst storms in recent history. These partnerships enabled us to jump into immediate action in the hours following the storm.

Our crisis response was swift and continues to focus on providing concrete supports in time of need. This includes, but is not limited to providing:

Displaced Seniors and Families

Unlike other local communities, Tropical Storm Ida forced the evacuation of two of our affordable housing complexes. Whole families have been displaced and the entire HUD-funded Senior Living Building located at 111 West Street in Englewood was flooded and evacuated. Over 160 individuals were transferred to local hotels. Families are expected to return home sometime this month, while over 100 Seniors will be displaced for a minimum of 6 months.

BFC is leading the effort to case management and mental health supports to seniors over the next several months.

Our trained Trauma-Informed staff are integrating strategies and approaches that enable us to have the greatest and most sustainable impact in the recovery effort.

About the Grantee

Bergen Family Center

At Bergen Family Center, diversity, equity, inclusion, and engagement are central to our organizational values. We strive to eliminate disparities caused by systemic inequities and confront unconscious bias. We are committed to implementing policies and practices that promote equity and justice in our workplace and community.