The Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) has pledged its support to Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands (LSSVI) after Hurricane Maria damaged four roofs at Flambouyant Gardens, a 56- apartment complex for low-income seniors and persons with physical disabilities.
A few days after Maria, extensive rains filled the debris-clogged gut that runs through Queen Louise Home for Children’s campus, causing extensive flooding at Sister Emma Cottage, the residence for children who are medically fragile and have severe disabilities.
DEMA equipped 13 apartments with temporary tarps after it was determined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the community was ineligible for assistance through Operation Blue Roof. The Danish agency has also agreed to help Queen Louise Home for Children by re-grading the gut that runs through the campus to prevent future flooding to the residence.
The individuals who worked at Flambouyant Gardens considered their experience “humbling;” They even felt embarrassed at the numerous compliments and words of gratitude they received. They expressed their deep sense of duty and were simply happy to “fill any void in manpower due to the hurricanes.” The group is made up of employees and volunteers from different backgrounds including mechanics, nursing, marketing, construction and engineering. DEMA personnel, who will leave the islands on Dec. 16, have found the rich Danish roots on St. Croix fascinating and coined their experience as “coming back home” to the Virgin Islands.
This assistance is a continuation of overwhelming Danish support for Lutheran Social Services of VI. Earlier this year, the Consulate General of New York, through the Danish Ministry of Culture, made a grant award of DKK 178,000 (approximately USD 28,000) to Queen Louise Home for Children as part of the Danish marking of the 100-year commemoration of Transfer Day.
Queen Louise Home for Children and Flambouyant Gardens are programs of LSSVI, which is the largest private child and family services agency in the Virgin Islands. LSSVI programs include Early Head Start; AmeriCorps; five housing complexes for low income seniors and adults with disabilities; a safe haven for neglected, abused and severely disabled children; and two 24-hour residential care facilities for adults with disabilities unable to live independently.