The August 2020 derecho storm that swept across the Midwest devestated many parts of Iowa, including Des Moines. As a result, many of our properties and tenants experienced damage including: power loss, tree damage, and damages to buildings and cars. In the moments directly following the derecho, our team sprung into action to help our residents, and ensure their safety.
Many of Allterra's properties experienced lots of damage from the storm. Legacy Park was hit the hardest. Huge trees had come down and were the largest issue we faced. Some had fallen on resident's cars and some cracked windows in the units. Our maintenance team immediately began cleanup at these properties the day of the derecho. We did contract out some help for large branch removal, but most of the work had to be done by our team and they worked tirelessly over the days following. As of today, we have cleaned up all of the trees. Our program manager staff has been working closely with affected residents on damages they experienced and getting those fixed.
Tenant Story: A downed power line caused a fire after the derecho in one of our homes. Thankfully no one was hurt. Allterra immediately helped house the family in a hotel, and has since moved them into a new, vacant apartment unit.
Helping our residents with housing costs during a time of need:
2020 had been a difficult year for many of our residents living in Allterra and Anawim Housing. Our property management team has been working hard to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our residents housed and following the CARES act. With our guidance, many of our residents are now utilizing funds from IFA, Polk County Housing Trust Fund, IMPACT, and HOME Inc. to pay back rent, current rent, and future rent. We are committed to being there for our tenants and helping them stay housed in safe, affordable housing.
The Anawim Housing program team experienced their own unique set of challenges related to the derecho storm. The largest issue they faced was power outages. Immediately following the storm and power loss, program managers provided emotional support for their tenants, and acted as a sounding board for them to voice frustrations to. Power was out for many days at several of our resident's homes which led to increased anxiety. With the power outages, our team sprung into action communicating a SNAP program to help their tenants replace spoiled food. Many of our program tenants do not have the funds to replace spoiled food, so Anawim staff visited each tenant and provided the necessary application to them to help with this process.
Tenant Story: After a couple days of no power, one of our program tenants informed us that her insulin had gone bad due to the fridge not being on, and she only had half a bottle left.. Her Anawim program manager immediately went out and purchased her a cooler and ice, then proceeded to order her a new insulin prescription. Fortunately her power was restored the next day. Her team was there for her in her time of need.