A report from the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation shows the organization awarded $5.7 million in grants to help residents of the city recover from the 2008 flood.
Foundation president and CEO Les Garner says the money came from 2,200 donors located in 43 states and four countries outside the United States. “The majority of the funds came from within this community and across the state of Iowa,” Garner said.
The 2008 flood caused an estimated $3 billion in damage in Cedar Rapids – impacting 5,000 homes and 700 businesses.
The report shows the foundation awarded flood recovery grants to 81 local, nonprofit organizations. “A large portion of that money went to organizations that could help individuals with housing issues…to rebuild and restore those homes,” Garner said. “Some of the other grants went to organizations like Habitat For Humanity to help add to the stock of affordable housing for people who couldn’t return to their homes.”
Grants were also directed toward agencies that provide counseling for both flood victims and professionals serving people affected by the flood. Garner said grants also helped nonprofit organizations that were displaced by the flood.
The largest flood recovery grant awarded by the foundation, just over $1.2 million, went to the Affordable Housing Network. That agency helped spearhead the Block By Block program — which, to date, has helped rebuild around 275 homes.