We began assisting victims immediately following the explosion. We served our clients as Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response (LSSDR). While our name has changed to Upbring Disaster Response, we remain diligent to our mission to serve those impacted by disasters in the Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana areas.
Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response (LSSDR) responded to the explosion of the West Fertilizer Company on April 17, 2013. During this effort, we assisted 190 families and 500 individuals through the distribution of $13,000 in emergency funds. A hotel voucher program helped meet immediate housing needs for survivors. Many of these survivors were elderly who lived at the assisted living home that was destroyed. Other survivors receiving vouchers included families who lost loved ones, as well as a good number of people who were just barely making ends meet to begin with.
Our team worked with our network of community partners, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and representatives at the scene to offer immediate assistance in the following ways:
Short-Term Emergency Needs
- Gift cards to families with immediate needs of food/shelter/clothing—until the funds ran out.
- Answers to questions and a shoulder to lean on. Other organizations, including the Red Cross and Southern Baptists, referred clients with these needs to us.
- Counseling and spiritual care services to individuals seeking prayerful comfort and emotional support, over the short and long-term.
Today, we continue to assist victims through long-term response and recovery operations. We offer them case management services for the long process of rebuilding their lives.