Hurricane Irma left its mark on Jacksonville: massive floods in low-lying areas, wind damage, and other impacts.
And Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry — now fully in what he calls “recovery mode” — seeks to ensure that impacted Northeast Floridians have what they need to defray immediate impacts and recover their lives.
On Wednesday at the Legends Center in Northwest Jacksonville, flanked by politicians and leaders of local non-profits, Curry rolled out the First Coast Relief Fund.
The Jacksonville Jaguars already donated $1,000,000 and 5,000 gameday tickets for Sunday’s home opener to the effort, which is a continuation of the 2016 inception of the fund, launched in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.
That Jaguars commitment is part of a larger nest egg: $2M pledged since Irma exited, including $500,000 from the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund, and another $700,000 from Florida Blue, the United Way and others.
The fund will make grants to nonprofits helping those impacted by the hurricane in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns counties, filling in the gaps left by governmental programs.
“While we dodged loss of life,” Curry said, “a lot of people are in pain … without power,” and with property damage they may not have budget to remedy.
100 percent of fund proceeds go to “immediate and long-term” needs: housing, food, and supplies.
“A lot of people are in need right now,” Curry said.