Flood Relief for New Moms Families
November 13, 2023
Just over 4 months ago, New Moms’ Transformation Center incurred catastrophic damage due to flooding. We faced numerous obstacles as we worked to repair and recover, including supply chain issues, vendor availability, and slow bureaucratic processes. Without exaggeration, your support made it possible for our amazing staff and families to weather this overwhelming challenge. I am grateful to share some positive updates on the progress that has been made to date, because of your generosity:
- Moms and children who were residents of our Transformation Center Housing program had been temporarily moved to hotels in the suburbs while the building was unlivable. On August 13, following the restoration of electricity and fire safety panels, those families were welcomed back. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that, while the HVAC system incurred some damage, it was still able to function and provide cool air throughout the building during those hot late summer days, albeit inconsistently.
- The elevator in our four-story building was damaged significantly by the flooding. Elevator repairs have been slow due to supply chain issues and parts shortages. This has been a critical challenge–without a functioning elevator New Moms could not accept new housing applicants due to Chicago Housing Authority protocols. However, in the week of October 23rd, the first major phase of repairs to the elevator was completed, making the elevator fully operational. We are grateful that our residents no longer have to use the stairs, and that we are now able to welcome new residents into our Chicago housing program!
- Finally, the flooding destroyed all historical documents and program materials that were stored in our basement, along with New Moms’ computer server. While the physical items are lost, we are grateful to our IT partner, Network It Easy, who built a temporary backup server to hold the organization over for a short time while we move to the cloud–a project we had planned for in the near future, but accelerated our timeline due to the flood.
Our community of donors stepped up to support New Moms during this time, helping us raise just over $400,000! The cost of damages has reached just over $650,000 and continues to climb as we work towards full repair. Insurance has not yet approved our claim, and we have secured pro bono legal support to navigate this process. We anticipate that it will take a total of 12-18 months for our case to be sorted.
Thank you for coming alongside New Moms and ensuring that young families can continue to access services.
August 16, 2023
Today our families moved back home to the Transformation Center!
This morning, families were picked up from their hotels and taken to the Transformation Center. New Moms staff were ready and waiting to help them carry their belongings up to their apartments. Each family received boxes of both perishable and non-perishable food from Beyond Hunger and the Chicago Food Depository, along with a grocery store gift card, so they could restock their cabinets and fridges.
New Moms coaches will continue to support every one of our families in our Housing program to help them transition into new routines. Moving families back into the building is a big step in the process of recovering from the damages incurred by the flood.
There has been great progress made on repairs to the Transformation Center, including having electricity, a functioning HVAC system, and WiFi. But the work is not done. In addition to making the elevator operational, there are many ongoing repairs that will be addressed in the coming days and months to get the facility back to strong working order. These unexpected costs have mounted to over $800,000.
During this crisis, New Moms programs continued without interruption. Coaches from our Housing program continued to provide support to families while they were housed in hotels, and our Family Support, Job Training, and College Success programs continued to be a strong resource to young moms!
You make this possible! Your faithful and generous support continues to make New Moms a reliable resource for young moms and their children in Chicago. Thank you for partnering with New Moms so that we can work to see every family thrive!
July 26, 2023
Our staff and external contractors are still hard at work to get the Transformation Center back up and running. Here are a couple of updates on the status of the building as of today:
- Families: Coaches continue to maintain constant communication with our families, updating them on the status of the building and making sure they are comfortable while in temporary housing at long-term hotels.
- The building: Repairing the Transformation Center requires the coordination of many, many contractors as they work to rebuild all the systems that were impacted by the flood and fire. This includes significant electrical work as well as repairs to the elevator, HVAC system, fire protection system, and other technology. We’re grateful for contractors who are working diligently to get repairs made. Our electrician has had a crew working on the weekends since they began to speed up the repairs. Faced with the challenge of needing a 200lb part that was only available in two places in the country, our electrician drove 40 hours roundtrip to Nevada over the past weekend to pick it up so installation could continue. We are grateful for all the helping hands that are at work, getting the building ready for young families to return home.
Thank you to everyone for supporting us through this flood recovery and for your patience as we continue to rebuild.
July 20, 2023
EXCITING MATCH ANNOUNCEMENT!
We are excited to provide an update on our flood recovery fundraising efforts. Generous New Moms supporters have offered to match all donations up to $30,000.
This means that your gift will go twice as far to help our team provide essential support for our families who have been displaced because of the effects of the flooding in our Transformation Center.
Due to the significant electrical damage, the building is still under a complete power outage. We are working diligently with contractors to make the repairs needed so our families can move back into their homes at New Moms.
We anticipate at least $100,000 of unexpected costs that will not be covered by insurance. With this generous match, your gift today will be doubled up to $30,000 and help us cover these costs. Click here to donate and double your gift today.
Creating your own fundraising page and inviting your network to donate is a powerful way to support New Moms and help fulfill this match. Click here to sign up to fundraise for New Moms.
Your support means the world to our families and staff during this very challenging time.
July 18, 2023
On Sunday, July 2nd, New Moms Transformation Center in Austin, along with much of Chicago’s West Side, experienced extreme flooding. Initial flooding in New Moms’ basement was exacerbated by an electrical fire connected to our building. ComEd and the fire department disconnected the power for the repair, which stopped power to the sump pump. We took in several inches of water which dislodged a water tank in our pump room. The tank broke away from a pipe, filling our basement with more than 6 feet of water.
The end result was a catastrophic failure of all systems in the building. The building continues to be under a complete power outage with significant electrical damage, an inoperable elevator and HVAC system, computer servers lost, and many historical documents destroyed.
Our first, and most important concern is the well-being of the young families who live at the Transformation Center.
Our amazing staff quickly worked to find safe and stable housing for the families living in this building. Our team is providing food and essentials, cash assistance, transportation, and ongoing coaching and support. The families that live at the Transformation Center have all experienced homelessness in the past. Ensuring they are housed and supported is critical as we work to make the building livable again.
Our expected loss may be as high as $500,000, and we are waiting to hear what will be covered through insurance. We are anticipating at least $100,000 of unexpected costs that will not be covered by insurance. The essential support for our families has already surpassed $50,000.
We are reaching out to you, our community of support, to come around us as we wade through these flood-related challenges. We need financial & volunteer support.
We will continue to send updates on our flood recovery, the impact on our families, and the support needed to ensure they are well supported. Thank you!