Nonprofit Newswire | Disaster Relief for Nonprofits in Baltimore

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April 30, 2010; Source: Baltimore Business Journal | Spring is busting out all over for Baltimore nonprofits—literally. Thanks to disaster eligibility rules, Baltimore nonprofits that suffered unexpected expenses for snow removal during last winter’s brutal season are eligible for reimbursement from the federal government.

According to the Baltimore Business Journal, because the city was recently added to a state of emergency declaration, “nonprofits including emergency and medical service organizations, hospitals, museums, community centers, libraries, homeless shelters and the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore can apply for cash to help them recover financially from the snowiest winter in the region’s history.” The decision to extend the emergency declaration to Baltimore was made last month, and for now, only applies to a severe December snowstorm. However, the newspaper reports that more money is expected to compensate groups for snow removal and possibly any property damage for subsequent storms that hit in early February.

Sharon Campbell, public assistance officer for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, said nonprofits that had at least $1,000 in snow removal costs over 48 hours are eligible for reimbursement and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will cover up to 75 percent of those costs.

While the reimbursement could be a godsend for some struggling nonprofits, not every organization is planning to seek relief. Chuck Buettner, Baltimore Rescue Mission executive director, whose group might qualify if additional funds are available for property damage, said the mission had some repairs done to the roof after the snow—but that some of the work was needed even before the storm. He also said the group did its own snow shoveling. “Our policy from day one has been we’re a faith ministry,” Buettner said. “Our funding comes from individuals and churches.”—Bruce Trachtenberg