CWS Plans Long-Term Recovery for Hurricane Victims in Texas

( [email protected] ) Mar 10, 2004 08:44 AM EST

NEW YORK, NY – Church World Service is planning on long-term recovery for people in Texas who are still struggling from July’s Hurricane Claudette and Many Texas residents still recovering from July’s Hurricane Claudette and flooding from massive rainstorm.

"In addition to being there with immediate crisis aid," notes Associate Director for Domestic Emergency Response Linda Reed Brown, "Church World Service is there for the long haul, by working with community faith organizations who specifically are established to serve those otherwise outside the response, those without insurance, or the under-insured, the most vulnerable populations."

When the disaster hit Texas last year, CWS provided aid of $136,040 to southeastern Texas sending emergency supplies such as “Gift of the Heart” Kits. However CWS found that what is needed now is long-term recovery plan to help those who are affected.

First step was to raise fund to meet ongoing recovery needs. Heriberto Matinez ofTexas Disaster Response and Recovery Liaison (DRRL), who has been working with new community interfaith groups since August to assist families in Calhoun and Matagorda counties said, there are a lot of families who are in need of additional assistance for recovery.

He added, “It’s been recently estimated that $550,000 will be needed in funds for direct, unmet needs assistance to affected families in Calhoun County alone.”

He said community interfaith support is very crucial in helping under-served residents because there are more than 1,000 affected families, mostly with no insurance or federal aid.

In August, Martinez and DRRL Joann Hale assisted local faith communities in the affected regions to form long-term recovery Interfaith organizations that are now providing case management and volunteer work teams.

Martinez began working in November to facilitate formation of Faith Communities for Disaster Recovery (FCDR), a long-term recovery Interfatih organization in Cameron and Hidalgo Counties . FCDR is now providing case management and coordinating volunteer work teams in both counties. FCDR is planning to work with more than 1,000 families who are in need of assistance.

The new Interfaith Christians Assisting in Recovery and Empowerment (ICARE) is now working with affected families in rural Calhoun County where the economy was not in good shape even before Hurricane Claudette’s damage.

Matagorda Interfaith Goodwill Humanitarian Team (MIGHT) is organized to help Matagorda County and in the process of hiring a caseworker. The assistance budge is expected to be about $900,000.

Dale and Jeannie Peercy, Lutheran Disaster Response, are further coordinating volunteer rebuilding efforts for ICARE and MIGHT.

"Both counties have significant numbers of economically challenged, elderly, and single-parent families," said June Cantrell, ICARE Program Director. "Groups addressing unmet needs are so grossly under funded, recovery seems almost a pipe dream."