Action Center
Tell Congress to support disaster relief for houses of worship
Until recently, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policy made disaster relief grants generally available to non-profits but specially excluded houses of worship.  As a result, damaged zoos, museums, and (secular) community centers could receive federal help to repair, but churches, synagogues, and mosques did not. Thankfully, FEMA changed its policy.  However, FEMA's policy is, and always was, just a policy.  In a future administration, FEMA could go back to the old, unfair policy.  So it is important that the new policy be established in law.

A legislative solution exists by way of the Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2017.  The Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2017 would ensure that houses of worship damaged in Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria as well as in future disasters, will be eligible for federal financial aid to repair their damaged buildings on the same terms as other nonprofits.

The language of this bill has already passed in the House as part of a disaster assistance package, but the legislation awaits action in the Senate.  Congress can ensure that, just as houses of worship will always be there to support their communities in times of disaster, FEMA has their back when houses of worship themselves have been damaged or destroyed.
In the aftermath of a natural disaster, houses of worship often play an irreplaceable role in the recovery of a community.  Discrimination that excludes houses of worship from federal assistance in the wake of a natural disaster, beyond being a legal violation, hurts the very communities most affected by the indiscriminate force of nature.

The Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act does not ask for special treatment, just equal treatment that conforms to constitutional protections.

For background, please visit:
    Message Body
    Remaining: 0
    Remaining: 0
    Suggested Message
    Remaining: 0
  • Hide
    • Phone Number
      Please call this number:
      Phone Script
      Response Report

      Your code has been sent!

      Please do not close this window. Minimize the window instead. You will need to come back to this window to enter your code.

      We have sent an email to ... with a verification code. If you do not see it within the next five minutes, please check your spam/junk mail folder.

      If you did not receive your verification email, click cancel and check that you entered your email address correctly.

      Enter Your Info
      Your Information
      Home Information
      Check which issues you would like to receive alerts on

      Enter Your Info

      Contact Us
      Follow Us