Brief Update on MS Katrina Recovery and How to Get Involved

Cross-posted from my Katrina recovery blog.

The following is a summary of a recent conference call members of my church, St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Coeur d'Alene, ID, had concerning Katrina recovery efforts at Trinity Church in Pass Christian, MS and Camp Coast Care, the Episcopal relief operation in Mississippi. Read for an update on Pass Christian and information on getting involved with the recovery yourself. I have some photos of Trinity Church from when I visited it that I'll post later (I'd put them up now, but I'm not on my own computer and don't have access to them at the moment).

I was not on this call, but this message was forwarded to me:

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"Today's robust conversation on the conference call with other Trinity advocates identified several alternatives for future volunteers.

Chris Colby told of the wonderful progress in developing plans for the existing damaged church structure. It is to be refurbished to become the parish hall. A raised plaza is to be in front. And, a new worship space is to be built on the west side. That new facility is to be 6-8 feet above the ground to provide shaded parking under. Later, maybe next year, a third building is to be built for class rooms. Across the street to the east the city is planning to build both an elementary and a middle school. There will be a day care center and a full size gym. This concentration of children is encouraging to Jeremy, Trinity's youth director who is already developing plans for an expanded youth program. The outreach arm of the Billy Graham organization has donated funds and contractors to build a complete play ground in front of the Trinity church where about five acres of open space are available. One statistic observed by Chris Colby: If 50 houses per day were to be built it would take 10 years to replace the houses along the gulf coast that were taken away by Katrina. An interesting fact: Chris is looking for church pews that do not float to fill the rebuilt church. A chronic problem along the coast is a lack of contractors and that is the reason that volunteers are needed for homes. To donate, one can adopt a family through the Camp Coast Care operation. Pam, the Trinity secretary, is to move into her newly built home with donated furniture in March.

Places that really need volunteers:

Trinity youth program with Jeremy beginning in mid-June and lasting 6 weeks. He can be reached at 724-333-5966.

Join a work team to build houses through the existing Episcopal Camp Coast Care operation. See their web site which is very descriptive regarding volunteer requirements and other information.
Go to www.campcoastcare.com.

Join a work team with the Mennonites who are hard at work daily building homes along the coast.
Their number is, 228-452-1114."

Cross-posted from my Katrina recovery blog.

There's more...

Road Home

The "Road Home Program" is the official government assistance program to Louisiana homeowners who lost their property in Hurricane Katrina. It is federal money, state-administered, and it is the biggest disaster in the history of recent domestic policy.

120,000 homeowners are eligible for up to $150,000 in grants. However, any money they recieved from FEMA or their insurance is taken off of their grant, and they further penalized if they didn't have insurance. In the end, the average grant is $30-40k. Even worse is the number of people who have actually recieved their checks: 101,657 homeowners have applied, but only 258 homeowners have gotten their money. (As of mid-Dec, 90k had applied and 97 had been paid; in mid-Nov, 70k had applied and 27 have been paid.)

The U.S. Senate is finally beginning to investigate this travesty. See my blog at http://waywardepiscopalian.blogspot.com/ for more information.

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Diaries

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