Disaster Response Fund Created Through City-Foundation Partnership

NEW BRITAIN — The city announced it has partnered with the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain to establish a new Disaster Response Fund. The fund will offer financial help to families or individuals who experience hardships, such as displacement due to fire.

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, the Fire Department will host a “tip-a- firefighter” event at Chili’s, 590 Hartford Road, from 5 to 9 p.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Disaster Response Fund.

“The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain has been a gracious partner to our city for many years,” said Mayor Erin Stewart. “We are excited to jump start this fund and help those who are in need if an unfortunate tragedy were to strike.”

The purpose of the fund is to make resources available to local government community service departments and crisis coordinators to meet the basic needs of residents from New Britain, Berlin, Plainville and Southington who are displaced from their homes for an extended period of time due to a natural disaster. Funds may also be used to support individual municipalities for basic food and shelter expenses related to temporarily supporting residents displaced due to incidents including fire, flood, and other weather related emergencies.

Representatives from local government community services or crisis coordinators will screen applicants and have them complete appropriate applications. Individuals that inquire to access funds will be directed to the local Community Service offices from their town of residence as follows: New Britain Community Services 860-826-3360, Berlin Social and Youth Services 860828-7059, Plainville Social Services Department 860-793-0221 ext. 294, Southington Community Services 860-628-3761.

Once approved, funds will be disbursed to the local government Community Services department who will allocate them accordingly or purchase the appropriate gift cards. Grants will not be paid directly to individuals.

“This Disaster Response Fund is the result of more than a year of researching what a community foundation’s appropriate role might be during a crisis situation,” said Dave Obedzinski, president of the foundation. “We are grateful to the mayor and to all of the city and town leaders in our ser vice area who helped us establish the guidelines for this fund.”

Stanley Black & Decker has provided the first $2,500 for the fund. The foundation contributed $1,000 and Art Schaller, who is a board member, committed $6,500 from his Schaller Auto World Fund at the foundation, adding up to a total of $10,000 in the fund to start.