Tennessee Floods: Updating the Help Options

It’s been two weeks now since the floods came, and the need for help is still strong. I wanted to quickly update the legal community about the resources that are currently available for you to refer people to.

First off, the five community centers closed on Friday as FEMA has stepped in to help. There are centers being set up all over TN, including a few mobile ones. Here is the current list. As of now they have not asked for volunteers in the legal community to join them, but we will know soon if and when that will happen.

Also, the TBA has issued a press release that gives you all the information about about the Hot-line they have set up for victims to call with legal questions. This number is 1-888-395-9297. This number is staffed M-F from 9 am to 5 pm. After that, there is a voice-mail that victims can leave messages in. If you have victims coming to you for help with legal issues resulting from the flood, feel free to redirect them there.

If you’re interested in volunteering to help victims who call in from the Hot-Line or any clinics that might be set up, you can sign up here with TALS or contacting me directly here. We are also going to need people for long term help, and would also love continued help in the community in general for people who need legal help and can’t afford it.

But what about people who need help with basic needs like food and water? Glad you asked! The two major resources to refer victims to are:

United Way: Dial 2-1-1 from any phone.

The United Way is a great referral service for people who need multiple resources, and will direct people to different programs that will suit their individual needs for food, water, etc. Also, anyone who wants to volunteer with helping the victims in a non-legal was can call for information on multiple projects, including Hands on Nashville.

Red Cross: 1-866-438-4636

The Red Cross has set up this Hot-line for victims who are in need of basic needs. By calling the number, a case worker will evaluate the victim’s needs including food, shelter, linens, and even basic furniture.

Also, any victim who needs help with food stamps or cash assistance has a limited time offer from DHS for help. The deadline for reimbursement food stamps and cash assistance is extended until May 28th in the following counties: Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Dyer, Gibson, Haywood, Hickman, Humphreys, Madison, Montgomery, Perry, Shelby, Sumner, and Tipton counties. For further details, see the Press Release.

The Dodson Parker Blog is still up and running and has a plethora of resources that have been announced all over town, so if you’re looking for a specific kind of resource for a victim you might be trying to help out, I highly recommend going there as well.

And finally, thank you EVERYONE who has helped out in the last few weeks. Remember that We Are Nashville and we take care of our own. The efforts this community has shown in helping each other out has made me very proud to call this town home. So thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!

As always,
*~ Alison ~*

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Legal Help for Flood Victims

With the historic floods in Nashville, right now their legal problems are the least thing on their mind, even the problems that are a result from the floods themselves.

However, we want to reach out and make sure that people are aware that there is help for them, and I’m going to list what I can here as we become aware of it.

FLOOD INFORMATION CENTERS

These locations are open everyday from 10am to 6pm to provide information for flood victims. Victims can just walk on in if they want some advice on help.

Bellevue Community Center; 656 Colice Jeanne Road, Nashville
Coleman Community Center; 384 Thompson Lane at Nolensville Road, Nashville
Hadley Park Community Center; 1037 28th Avenue North, Nashville
Hermitage Community Center; 3720 James Kay Lane, Hermitage
East Community Center; 700 Woodland Street, Nashville

If you are an attorney who wants to volunteer to staff one of these centers, contact Sarah Hayman at the Tennessee Bar Association to sign up. The first hour you are at the center will involve training so don’t worry if you think you may not know how to help on these specific issues!

Also, while the Legal Aid Society’s clinic today in Williamson Co. is canceled, we will still have our normal legal clinic on Tuesday the 11th for all legal problems. We are also adding a special clinic for Flood Victims on Flood Related Questions ONLY on May 12th at 5pm. They are both at our office on 300 Deaderick Street and are walk in clinics so no appointment necessary.

If you are an attorney who wants to volunteer to help with the flood clinic, please e-mail me (Alison) and I’ll get you on our list. We will have training materials available for all volunteers to be able to refer to.

In addition, some of the younger attorneys over at Dodson, Parker, Behm & Capparella, PC have set up a very helpful blog of legal questions that flood victims should think about and some easy answers to start guiding victims on the right path. Please take a moment to check it out: http://nashvillefloodhelp.blogspot.com/

Finally, please be aware that the United Way is ready and available to help any flood victim who might be in need. They will be up to date on all programs going on to provide assistance, food, and supplies and they are a great resource to pass along to victims looking for non-legal help that come your way. It’s just a single phone call away and they are open 24 hours a day. Just dial 2-1-1 from any phone.

Thank you in advance for any help you are able to offer, and feel free to share, link, retweet, and send out so the word of these centers can spread to the people who need them. E-mail me if you have any questions.