Midwest Disaster Consortium Created Through Partnership of Lutheran Agencies

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lutheran Disaster Response announces the development of a Midwest Disaster Consortium that will be focused on creating sustainability for essential disaster staff at Lutheran Disaster Response affiliate Social Ministry Organizations within a four-state region, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Missouri. The Social Ministry Organizations that will be active in the consortium include Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSSMN), Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota (LSSND), Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota (LSSSD) and Lutheran Family and Children's Services of Missouri (LFCS).

"We are pleased to be able to help facilitate and participate in this consortium that will help our affiliates become more effective in their response to disasters, with the ultimate goal of more effectively helping help those who are impacted by disasters," said Pastor Michael Stadie, program director for Lutheran Disaster Response.

 Lutheran Services in America (LSA), the national network representing Lutheran social ministry organizations, will serve as the strategic planning facilitator and project evaluator for the consortium. "This is the first time that LSA member organizations have received this type of funding for a collective initiative," said Charlotte Haberaecker, president and CEO of Lutheran Services in America. "We're excited about the possibilities represented by this joint initiative, and we want to thank Lutheran Disaster Response and the four organizations for their leadership. LSA was born out of a desire to create greater connections between our social ministry organizations, and in our role as strategic facilitator and in evaluating the implementation of the plan, we look forward to working with the consortium to create greater sustainability for key disaster staff at social ministry organizations," added Haberaecker. "I often say that Lutheran organizations are the first to provide help after a disaster strikes, and often the last to leave – and this project directly addresses the long-term needs communities have and how Lutheran social ministry can best serve them." 

The Social Ministry Organizations that will compose the Midwest Disaster Consortium have been providing disaster response services for a combined total of more than 100 years. This consortium was made possible through a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation. The grant period began Oct. 1, 2014 and will go through Sept. 30, 2016. The sustainability provided by this grant ensures each organization in the consortium will be able to continue its important work in assisting communities with disaster-related needs, especially among the most vulnerable populations in low-profile, non-federally declared disasters. The consortium will put an emphasis on developing best practices around Disaster Case Management, which consists of helping those impacted by disaster navigate the recovery process on an individual basis, and developing long-term recovery strategies, which includes addressing the unmet needs of impacted communities that exist months and years after a disaster occurs.

About Lutheran Disaster Response: Formed in 1973, Lutheran Disaster Response has an extensive history of responding to disasters, both domestically and internationally. With a focus on long-term recovery, Lutheran Disaster Response has a commitment of working with the local communities impacted by disasters to accompany them and provide assistance as they navigate their way through recovery.

About Lutheran Services in America: Lutheran Services in America (LSA) is one of the largest health and human services networks in the country with more than 300 members that provide a broad range of critical services from health care to children and family services, senior services, disaster relief, refugee services, disability support, housing, and employment support, among others. Collectively, LSA members serve 1 in 50 Americans each year in thousands of communities across the United States and are open to all regardless of their religious affiliation or social or economic background. LSA is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, please visit www.lutheranservices.org.

Information Contacts:
Pastor Michael Stadie – Lutheran Disaster Response, Program Director
(773) 380-2822

Tania Hernandez-Andersen – Lutheran Services in America, Vice President of Marketing and Communications
(301) 651-5243 (cell) or (202) 499-5846 (office)