Free Hurricane Irma Home Cleanup Hotline Available Now
Call 1-800-451-1954 for free help from local relief agencies

From now through Sept. 30, 2017, several relief agencies are staffing a free hotline for debris removal and home cleanup after the recent severe weather. This hotline will connect survivors with reputable and vetted relief agencies that will assist in [chainsaw work, debris cleanup, and mucking out], as they are able. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to the overwhelming need.

“Florida Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (FLVOAD) is committed to working with reputable, vetted relief organizations that have come to help,” said Gabe Tischler, chair of FLVOAD. “Survivors should call 800-451-1954 for help.”

“Voluntary relief agencies play a vital role in whole community recovery. The police and fire departments are there for emergencies, but they don’t have the time or resources to clean out homes. This partnership helps connect survivors with local relief agencies working in the area,” said Gabe Tischler Chair of FLVOAD.

“We are offering this service through Sept.30, to help facilitate cleanup by various aid agencies standing by to assist those affected by the storms,” says Aaron Titus, executive director of Crisis Cleanup. “This hotline will alert multiple relief agencies that survivors need help. All services are free and performed by vetted and reputable relief agencies and members of VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster). Response times will vary so we ask residents their patience while the teams receive and organize their response to help.”

Importantly, this hotline cannot assist with social services such as food, clothing, shelter, insurance, or questions about FEMA registration.

Survivors needing assistance with home cleanup may call: 1-800-451-1954 through Sept. 30, 2017.

Donate to Hurricane Irma Relief
The following items are needed for members of our community:

  • Monetary donations
  • Gift cards to Walmart
  • Gas cards
  • Hygiene kits (Please contact one of our regional offices for a list of items needed)
  • Food (e.g., non-perishable items)

As we progress through our recovery assistance, we will be able to determine more specific items that are needed. Please see the list of regional offices to contact below.

Community Response and Recovery
Catholic Charities Bureau, Inc. is equipped to provide long-term recovery assistance for members of the community. In case of a disaster, the agency works with Florida Catholic Charities, Inc. to obtain necessary food, supplies, and services. Catholic Charities is organizing the collection, packaging, and distribution of large amounts of food, water, and personal care items by working closely with our parishes in affected communities.

FEMA Assistance
For any homeowners who have damage to their homes, you can apply online directly to FEMA. Applications are due Nov. 9. Catholic Charities will be assisting homeowners with the application process soon. At this time, FEMA is also providing assistance such as help with the cost of hotels and insurance deductibles.



Free clean up services – including debris removal, muck-out work, and tree cutting – call (800) 451-1954. This free service is coordinated by volunteers including Catholic Charities of Florida.

The following Catholic Charities offices are confirmed open:

Gainesville – (352) 372-0294
1701 NE 9th Street, Gainesville, FL 32609

Lake City – (386) 755-5683, ext. 101
553 NW Railroad Street, Lake City, FL 32055

Jacksonville – (904) 354-4846
134 E. Church Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

St. Augustine – (904) 829-6300
3940 Louis Speedway, Ste. 2103, St. Augustine, FL 32084

For First Coast counties, click here for helpful recovery effort resources: https://www.unitedwaynefl.org/emergency/

Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche

The Shrine will reopen on Saturday, Sept. 16, but the mission grounds will remain closed until Sunday, Oct. 1 due to extensive tree damage and debris clean-up from the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Thankfully, the grounds are in much better shape than they were last year when Hurricane Matthew struck the St. Augustine coast.

Catholic Charities Resource Guide

Hurricane Preparedness Guide