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Mel Gravely

NHSA Disaster Relief Funds Available to Programs that Experience Natural Disasters


NHSA Disaster Relief Fund

A Head Start Classroom after Hurricane Sandy. Photo Courtesy of National Head Start Association.

The National Head Start Association (NHSA) Disaster Relief Fund is a program that provides funds to NHSA member agencies that have experienced loss as a result of a natural disaster.

The Fund provides assistance in the form of cash donations and can be paid directly to the program or to a staff member or parent. However, this assistance cannot include costs that are already covered by other means, such as insurance or FEMA.

Disaster relief assistance is particularly important as there are certain gaps in coverage, such as insurance deductibles, that can make it difficult for programs, staff, and parents to get back on their feet after a natural disaster.  The longer it takes to get back to normalcy, the more traumatic it can be for the children in that community.

For full details on how to apply for assistance, please visit the NHSA website.

From the NHSA website:

The Fund provides the following assistance in the form of cash donations:

  • Direct assistance to a Head Start/Early Head Start Program: Up to $5,000 per program
  • Direct assistance to a Head Start/Early Head Start employee or parent: Up to $500 per employee/parent
  • Total program request including assistance to program and staff/parents not to exceed $5,000

A request for assistance should not already be covered by other assistance such as FEMA, building, automobile, or medical insurance, etc. Examples of acceptable need include (but are not limited to):

  • Reimbursement for car or building insurance deductibles
  • Expenses incurred by Head Start Parents or Staff made homeless or temporarily displaced from their homes due to disaster damage
  • Vehicle repair to damage caused by disaster not covered by insurance
  • Medical costs as a result of disaster not covered by insurance

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