Army partners with Habitat for Humanity

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Together they work to provide affordable housing across the Gulf Coast.

The Salvation Army recently joined Habitat for Humanity for the 25th annual weeklong Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The event ran from May 11-16.

As part of the project, the Army allocated $7.4 million in disaster assistance funds to support construction and rehabilitation of up to 370 homes in the four states. The Army also provided food services for volunteers and staff at construction sites.

Providing homes
“Getting people back into a stable home will be a foundation from which they can reestablish their lives,” said Major John R. Jones, divisional commander for the Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi Division. “We have allocated the largest portion of our long-term recovery funds to housing because it is such an important component for rekindling hope.”

The week officially began at the Army’s Yankie Stadium in Biloxi, Miss., where Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity, said: “The Salvation Army has been working hard since the 2005 hurricanes to help families cope and recover from the devastation. They have been a vital partner with Habitat for Humanity in the region, and their tremendous support of the Carter Work Project is another extension of their commitment to helping Gulf Coast families rebound for the long term. We’re deeply grateful for that support.”

Habitat’s Carter Project is an annual, internationally-recognized week in which the former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, along with his wife, Rosalynn, join thousands of volunteers to build and renovate simple, decent and affordable housing in partnership with low-income families.

Truckloads of food
The Army also provided food for volunteers and staff throughout the weeklong event. On May 12 alone, the Army served more than 7,000 meals in the four states.

“We expect to provide about 44-thousand meals this week to volunteers participating in the home projects,” said Jones. “That’s three tractor-trailer loads of food each day. We are serving everything from traditional southern food to vegetarian meals, so all of the needs of the volunteers are met.”

Long-term assistance
In addition to the Habitat partnership, The Salvation Army has joined with other organizations in over 2,100 home repair and reconstruction projects in Hurricane Katrina affected communities. The Salvation Army has budgeted $82 million to deal directly with housing issues for people who were displaced by the storms. More than 800,000 have received long-term recovery assistance—for housing, employment and basic needs—through The Salvation Army’s long-term plan.

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