Episcopal Relief & Development partners with Episcopal Community Services in response to flooding in San Diego

Episcopal Relief & Development
Posted Mar 7, 2024

Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with Episcopal Community Services (ECS) in San Diego, California to provide emergency relief and recovery support to nine families affected by the heavy rains and damaging flooding in January.

The heavy rains fell quickly, filling the streets and freeways with water, and many people weren’t expecting it as that amount of rain is out of the norm. The water overwhelmed the city’s stormwater system, and emergency services needed to rescue hundreds of people from their homes in low-lying areas. Many under-resourced families lost their belongings and were displaced after sustaining damage to their homes.

In partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, ECS is working through its network of bilingual and bicultural children’s programs to support families as they repair their homes and replace destroyed or damaged items. Parents and caregivers will be provided with items including air mattresses, clothing, hygiene products, diapers and furniture.

In reflecting on the immediate action taken to support these families, Timothy Whipple, ECS Director of Development, emphasizes the heart of their mission. “ECS has over 90 years of experience in meeting urgent needs of our community, from addressing homelessness and mental health issues to providing early childhood education and substance use disorder treatment,” Whipple shares. “Our gratitude extends to the Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, for connecting us to Episcopal Relief & Development, which has been instrumental in aiding our Para Las Familias and Head Start families impacted by the floods. It’s heartwarming to see the power of collaboration in addressing critical community needs.”

As communities nationwide confront the escalating challenges of climate-induced flooding, exacerbated by infrastructure vulnerabilities, Episcopal Relief & Development is at the forefront of providing support. Such events have a greater impact on people experiencing poverty, significantly complicating their recovery efforts.

“Our buildings, roads and bridges weren’t designed for big weather events like the ones we are seeing as climate change becomes more severe,” said Lura Steele, Program Officer, Episcopal Relief & Development, adding, “Unfortunately, people made vulnerable by their status in our society are affected the most, and so we are pouring our resources into localized partnerships like this one with ECS to help people who lack financial or social assets to start over again.”

For over 80 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has worked with an extensive network of faith and community partners to advance lasting change in communities affected by injustice, poverty, disaster and climate change. Inspired by our faith, we reach over three million people each year by focusing on four interconnected priorities: nurturing the potential of caregivers and young children, reducing violence against women and girls, strengthening communities’ resilience to climate change and facilitating humanitarian response to disasters. Together with our partners, we leverage what’s working well to drive impact, learning and sustainability. Together, we create lasting change. Join us: episcopalrelief.org.