Need help with derecho damage? Call Waypoint at 319-366-7999 and leave a detailed voicemail with a reliable return phone number.
What is PATCH and why was it needed?
On August 10, 2020, a powerful storm producing straight-line winds topping 140 miles per hour tore through Eastern Iowa and six other states. In its wake, residents were left with extensive property damage, most homes and businesses were without power, and more than 60% of Linn Country’s trees had been uprooted or damaged.
Following this devastating storm, called a derecho, housing repair was identified as one of the most pressing needs. Homeowners were finding a significant gap between Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding and insurance payouts. Low-income families and individuals were disproportionally affected due to lack of insurance or other factors. Whatever the reasons, people needed help, and they needed it fast.
In response, a program called Providing Assistance to Community Homeowners (PATCH) was created by multiple organizations in Linn County to help low and moderate-income homeowners receive much-needed repairs.
As soon as the derecho’s wind and rain died down, everyone in the community jumped in, started working, and helped their neighbors. Those with chainsaws could be seen cutting up a tree blocking a neighbor’s driveway. Everyone who was able was picking up, raking, and lending a hand to those in need.
Matthew 25 recognized the need for generators for those with a medical necessity for electricity, such as refrigeration for insulin or power for a CPAP machine. The Matthew 25 Tool Library was able to provide generators to 104 neighbors with the greatest need for electricity.
Another immediate concern was roofing. Between the wind and falling trees, many homes sustained roof damage. Matthew 25 mobilized volunteers to tarp leaky roofs to prevent further damage and prepare homes for a cold and snowy Iowa winter. We distributed 4,450 bundles of donated shingles to more than 60 homeowners who could benefit from lowering the cost of getting a new roof.
Matthew 25 also organized a wide-reaching Winterization Blitz for mobile home owners around the city, helping to prepare homes in need by fixing skirting, adding insulation and adding heat tape to exposed pipes to prevent freezing.
With the onset of cold weather, the Matthew 25 and other organizations and groups in town came together to develop long-term plans for helping residents recover from the derecho.
Long-term Recovery Solutions
With the help of many organizations throughout Linn County, the PATCH Program was able to build a program and plan for long-term recovery for homeowners in need. The goal of this phase was to make homes safe and healthy, and to make them livable again.
From minor home repair projects under $3,000, to large-scale projects funded by forgivable loans up to $25,000, the PATCH Program facilitated projects such as new roofs, siding, windows, rebuilding garages, and more.
Matthew 25 also organized a Mobile Home repair program to assist mobile home owners who often had a larger gap between insurance and FEMA funding, as well as a smaller pool of qualified and willing contractors who could work on their homes.
Outcomes of the PATCH Program
Since the PATCH Program was formed in late 2020, we have:
- Assisted 261 homeowners with repair projects
- Weatherized 88 manufactured homes to prepare for winters
- Given out 4,450 bundles of free shingles to help more than 60 homeowners
- Provided generators to 104 families and individuals without power
- Distributed more than 950 free tarps
- Invested more than $3.1 million of government and private funds for derecho repairs in the Cedar Rapids community
PATCH Funding Partners
Thank you to all who have contributed to help make this program happen, especially our major funding partners: