Community organizers from LUPE and ARISE in Hidalgo County and the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville in Cameron and Willacy Counties have proved to be a great asset for post-disaster response in vulnerable areas - especially where trust and social ties are already in place. During the outreach period of the RAPIDO pilot, the Outreach team became more than just a point of contact for the program. Navigators demonstrate that activities such as case management and social services are essential in the recovery process for families. The Navigators were the face of the program during the application period, providing confidence and support through the process.
As part of the policy development for RAPIDO the Policy team will soon deliver three main documents: a program comparison report; a technical guide; and policy recommendations. Key outcomes will include understanding and documenting statutes and regulations that affect in the implementation of RAPIDO at the local, state and national government levels. The Policy team is led by Shannon Van Zandt and the Center for Housing & Urban Development at Texas A&M University. The Outreach, Eligibility and Design and Construction teams communicate project progress and challenges regularly to the Policy team in order to identify major policy changes needed in order to implement the RAPIDO plan.