Jackson County Commissioners have approved a memorandum of understanding with a group that will provide two specially trained AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) workers to assist in the ongoing Hurricane Michael recovery effort at no cost to the county.

Each of the VISTA workers will be on duty an average of 35-40 hours a week here.

The organizing group, Community Organizations Active in Disaster will be operating here as the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) and will be in partnership with the county for this service from Jan. 21, 2020 to Jan. 20, 2021.

BRACE will serve as the fiscal agent and overall administrator for the grant that will be used to carry out the program. As such, it will provide assistance to the county and the VISTA workers in implementing the grant. It will also serve as a liaison between the county and those workers.

The county will provide VISTA workers with project requests throughout their time here and provide a site supervisor to oversee the activities of the workers. It is also expected to prepare a proposed budget that details things like mileage reimbursement, professional development achievements, and any in-kind assistance provided by the county for housing, meals and others forms of help. The county will assist in the selection of the participating VISTA workers, and will provide orientation and training as appropriate. The county will also be responsible for providing adequate work space, supplies and access to phones and computers if needed.

County staff will also conduct weekly meetings with the VISTA team members to discuss project progress and upcoming work details.

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