A House in a Box: Long-Term Disaster Groups Assemble Furniture for Midland Co. Flood Survivors

More than 11,000 people in Gladwin and Midland Counties were displaced last year due to a historic flood.

Now, with the help of United Way of Midland County and long-term flood recovery groups, flood survivors are finally able to put back the pieces.

“Flood survivors are just now becoming to reach a point where they’re ready for these items,” says Bre Sklar, disaster volunteer manages at United Way of Midland County.

On Tuesday, volunteers with the Long-Term Disaster Recovery Group, United Way of Midland County and the Disaster Services Corporation supplied 50 flood survivors a ‘Home in a Box’ to help them rebuild their lives.

Sklar says, “[Tuesday] we are assembling and organizing a home in a box kit, which will provide brand new furnishings for our flood survivors.”

One kit includes brand-new beds, linens, dishes, dressers, a couch and more…worth more than $3,000.

“To be able to replace those items for the flood survivors is something that’s really meaningful. And I think it’s going to be meaningful to them as well,” says Sklar.

Larry Kozak says when he heard about the House in the Box program in Midland County, he wanted to help.

“This was something that happened, and we knew that nobody was doing anything, so we came up and did it,” says Kozak.

Kevin Peach, chief operating officer of Disaster Services Cooperation — Society of St. Vincent de Paul USA, says, House in a Box will provide comfort and the first step towards recovery.

“As a parent myself, I can understand the weight that could feel of not having those things, so it’s just one step in the many steps that are going to come,” says Peach.

Matt Schramm, from the Long-Term Disaster Recovery Group, says and items to fill the new place they call home.

“The memories they lost in the flood, we can’t replace, but hopefully giving them an opportunity for a clean start can help them build new memories in a place that gives them a future,” says Schramm.