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New Long-Term Recovery Effort Launched for Victims of Hurricane Katrina

Volunteers of America have launched a long-term recovery effort to help over 19,000 individuals affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The relief effort will involve 60 case management teams in the Gulf Coast region and other locations that will provide one-on-one support to Hurricane Katrina survivors, and will be funded by a $6 million grant over a period of 2 years from the United Methodist Committee of Relief (UMCOR) as part of its Katrina Aid Today case management consortium.

Volunteers of America's case management teams will be located in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The case management teams will utilize 60 professional case managers and 240 trained volunteers to provide individualized case management services to help Hurricane Katrina survivors achieve stability and self-sufficiency. Case managers are expected to process around 9,600 cases over 2 years that will help approximately 19,200 hurricane victims, including those struggling with addiction, individuals with disabilities, elderly individuals and low-income families with children.

"Volunteers of America is proud to be a part of the long-term recovery effort for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and we are grateful for UMCOR's support," Volunteers of America National President Charles Gould said. "As a national, faith-based organization, we have a moral obligation to reach out to the victims of one of the worst natural disasters in our history and help them rebuild their lives and achieve self-sufficiency."

UMCOR is the humanitarian relief and development agency of the United Methodist Church, a worldwide denomination. For 65 years, UMCOR has alleviated human suffering by providing practical support to survivors of natural and civil disasters, without regard to a survivor's religion, race, gender or national origin. Katrina Aid Today is a national case management consortium sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"Navigating the system of government and private recovery support can be overwhelming, and survivors of this disaster often don't know their rights or whom to trust," said Warren Harrity, executive director, Katrina Aid Today. "We're glad to have Volunteers of America as part of the team reaching out to people and families to connect them with the resources they need to recover from this tragic disruption of their lives."

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