Flood Recovery Outreach Program
Starting Over Strong VT helps individuals and communities recover from natural and human-caused disasters through community outreach and access to mental health services. The program grants are awarded after a presidential major disaster declaration. The last time SOS-VT operated in Vermont was for the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. Unfortunately, Vermont experienced another major flooding event in July 2023, and also significant flooding in December. SOS-VT is here to provide assistance and education to all Vermonters who live and work in the declared counties: Caledonia, Chittenden, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham, and Windsor.
Starting Over Strong VT outreach workers have been and will continue to be a resource for all Vermonters in all nine counties impacted by the flood and its aftermath. Contact Vermont 2-1-1 to be connected to resources in your area. In addition to dialing 211, Vermont 211 can also be reached at: 866-652-4636 or 802-652-4636.
Starting Over Strong VT is a program that helps people recover and rebuild their lives after a disaster. The program supports short-term interventions that involve the following counseling goals:
- Helping disaster survivors understand their current situation and reactions
- Reducing stress and providing emotional support
- Assisting survivors in reviewing their disaster recovery options
- Promoting the use or development of coping strategies
- Connecting survivors with other people and agencies who can help them in their recovery process
Starting Over Strong VT follows key principles that make it different from other survivor support programs.
- Strengths-based: SOS-VT services promote resilience, empowerment, and recovery.
- Anonymous: Outreach workers do not classify, label, or diagnose people. No records or case files are kept.
- Outreach-oriented: Outreach workers deliver services in the communities rather than wait for survivors to seek their assistance.
- Conducted in nontraditional settings: Outreach workers make contact in homes and communities, not in clinical or office settings.
- Designed to strengthen existing community support systems: SOS-VT supplements, but does not end or replace, existing community systems.
Starting Over Strong - VT offers services to disaster survivors in their homes, shelters, temporary living sites, or houses of worship. Services may include:
- Individual and group crisis counseling
- Basic supportive or educational contact
- Community networking and support
- Assessments, referrals, and resources
- Development and distribution of educational materials
- Media and public service announcements
This is a non-clinical program designed to provide outreach, support, and connection to resources and services.