Army allocates $155 million for gulf coast hurricane recovery

Rebuilding plan includes partnerships with Habitat for Humanity, Project Teamwork and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.

by Mark Jones – 

Recently, The Salvation Army announced the details of a $155 million long-term recovery plan for Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi. This second phase of the Army’s recovery effort will use donated funds for reconstruction, housing development, volunteer programs and job-readiness training, among other services. To help implement the plan, the Army has signed agreements with a number of organizations including Habitat for

Humanity, Project Teamwork and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
“By working together with other social aid organizations we are able to maximize the dollars available and eliminate duplication of efforts,” said Major Dalton Cunningham, divisional commander for the Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi Division.

As part of the long-term recovery plan, The Salvation Army has identified the following five community recovery and rebuilding services for Louisiana and Mississippi:

Community Assistance Centers—The Army will continue to provide emergency relief at Community Assistance Centers. Here, survivors meet with trained case managers to apply for Salvation Army social services.

Volunteer Villages—The Army will fund rebuilding teams from other relief organizations, including Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, and create volunteer villages that offer housing and meals to relief workers.

Home ownership grants—The Army, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, will provide home ownership assistance grants to survivors throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. Individuals and families will be identified by Salvation Army case managers who will walk them through the application processes.

Employment services—The Army is partnering with the National Business Services Alliance to provide job training and skill certification to survivors who became unemployed as a result of the hurricanes. Survivors certified through this training program will be placed in a national database to be accessed by partner corporations seeking employees.

Community capacity fund—The Salvation Army will participate in long-term recovery efforts throughout the region. Funds will be allocated for use on programs that benefit disaster survivors within the community.

“Even as a new hurricane season approaches, we cannot forget those who are still suffering from the effect of last year’s disaster,” said Cunningham. “In this second stage of recovery we have to help the neediest survivors return their lives to a basic level of normalcy.”

To date, 68 percent of the $142 million spent in the first stage of recovery has gone toward direct financial assistance to survivors. The other 32 percent was used for meals, cleaning and personal hygiene supplies for survivors and equipment, transportation and lodging for Salvation Army disaster personnel. The balance, and any new donations, will support resettled survivors outside the immediate recovery zone.

In the ongoing response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Army has served more than 5.6 million hot meals and assisted nearly one million people in at least 30 states through April 2006.

The Army continues to accept donations for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, even as it prepares for potential new storms in 2006.

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