June 11, 2007
What comprises a community? Grocery stores, pharmacies, schools, police stations, firefighter houses, houses of worship; and, of course, homes to live in are some elements of a healthy community. Also, jobs that offer a "living wage" are necessary to maintain a healthy community. Many communities in Louisiana and Mississippi are returning slowly because some or all of these elements do not yet exist. A faithful commitment to the rebuilding of strong communities continues to be a priority of the United Church of Christ alongside other denominations and local partners. The good news often arrives "bundled together" such as this in New Orleans:
"In the 7th Ward of New Orleans there was great excitement last week when news that a grocery store is soon to re-open; this was announced on the same day that we shared great excitement about the "rebirth" of Beecher Memorial UCC Congregational which is also located in the 7th Ward; this took place on the same day that a member of Beecher learned that repairs on her home were completed and had passed city inspection so that she can move back in this month! The blending of these elements begins the rebuilding of a community."
There is much work yet to be accomplished.
The United Church of Christ has received $6,093,595.58 to address the needs of people impacted by the 2005 hurricanes. The funds received will allow a UCC presence on the Gulf Coast for the long term recovery. These generous gifts of UCC members and friends represent hope for thousands of people affected by the 2005 hurricanes.
The major role of the church in this disaster continues to be the rebuilding and repairing of homes for persons identified with "un-met needs" people who have no insurance or who are under-insured. One of the best ways local churches can respond to this need is to send a work group to help rebuild or repair homes. The UCC has been able to develop work group rebuilding opportunities thanks to the generous donations to One Great Hour of Sharing and disaster appeals. To learn more about the possibility of taking a volunteer work group to Louisiana, Mississippi or Florida, please visit the UCC web site: http://www.ucc.org/volunteer/Hurricane.html
Please share the stories of hope found at: http://www.ucc.org/disaster/gulf-coast-hurricanes.html
Relief, Response and Recovery Phase - August 29, 2005 to June 8, 2007
Funds Disbursed thru June 8, 2007
$624,353 UCC South Central Conference to meet emergency needs; provide grants to UCC clergy families who have been displaced and lost homes & income sources; continuing pastoral support; renovation and repair of UCC churches; long term recovery disaster response coordination [long term volunteers]; housing for long term volunteers; tool shed for equipment used to repair homes. Additionally, Rev. Alan Coe has been called by the South Central Conference to coordinate disaster recovery and work camp groups in the New Orleans Association.
$40,000 UCC South Central Conference to assist with repairs/rebuilding of members of UCC congregations in the New Orleans area.
$57,000 UCC South Central Conference towards renovation/restoration of Central Congregational UCC parsonage to be used for long term volunteer housing.
$7,821 To assist 15 members of UCC churches in the New Orleans Association of the South Central Conference impacted by the 2005 hurricanes to attend the 2007 General Synod in Hartford, CT. UCC church members attending will participate in planned events including a workshop to provide an opportunity to tell their stories of recovery.
$25,000 Crescent Alliance Recovery Effort, Long Term Recovery Committee for Orleans Parish, New Orleans, LA for a rebuild coordinator to assist persons with unmet needs to repair their homes.
$30,000 Interfaith Disaster Task Force (Jackson, Hancock and Harrison Counties in Mississippi) – interfaith to support a warehouse for materials to repair and rebuild homes for persons who are under insured; or, have no insurance. Volunteer work groups will provide the labor.
$40,000 Palm Beach County Disaster Recovery Coalition, Florida (Hurricane Wilma) to provide assistance with case management and materials to repair/rebuild home of persons with unmet needs impacted by 2005 hurricanes.
$35,000 Washington Emergency Recovery Ongoing Cadre, Long Term Recovery Committee in Washington Parish, LA to provide physical, spiritual and psychological to persons with unmet needs impacted by hurricanes.
$10,000 Lutheran Social Services of Northern California to assist with resettlement of displaced persons relocated to Northern California after Hurricane Katrina.
$2,400 Back Bay mission for long term volunteer, stipend to serve as a construction supervisor for six months.
$105,000 Back Bay Mission to increase housing capacity for volunteer work groups which will allow for increased ability for UCC work to repair and rebuild homes; and for project managers to work with additional volunteer groups.
$2,310 UCC New Orleans Association to place an ad in the Times Picayune newspaper at Christmas inviting the community to worship; all UCC churches were listed.
$3,600 Back Bay Mission for long term volunteer (9 month placement) stipend to assist with coordination of volunteer work groups scheduling and project management paperwork.
$30,000 Boat People SOS, Inc. to continue assistance to the Vietnamese American community (approximately 36,000 live in the Gulf State region) impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Unmet needs include transportation money to search for employment, supplies for repair of damaged fishing boats, legal assistance for recovery and filing of lost and destroyed documentation.
$885 UCC Justice and Witness Ministries for registration of three interns working on housing advocacy issues in New Orleans to attend the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference.
$5,000 Howard University grant to assist with expenses for student Alternative Spring break to work on advocacy issues; and repair of homes in New Orleans.
$25,000 Greater New Orleans Disaster Recovery Partnership (GNODRP) to strengthen regional long-term recovery efforts; GNODRP assists with the work and coordination of 20 agencies working in 34 different programs.
$50,000 Jefferson Davis – Marion Counties Long Term Recovery Committee (Mississippi) to assist with casework; and construction/repairs on homes for people who are under-insured or not insured.
$50,000 The Rebuild Center Project, New Orleans, LA; working with the Catholic Church a Rebuild Center is opening to assist day laborers who have come to New Orleans to work on clean up and repairs. The majority of these persons do not have a place to live (people have been living in abandoned cars and houses). The Center will include: medical and legal services; shower, restroom and laundry services; meals; immigration related services; respite services.
$46,500 Dillard University to support two interns. One intern is working with the Lower 9th Ward Association on home ownership issues; and rebuilding. The second intern is working on the same issues for other areas on New Orleans.
$2,400 UCC Florida Conference to support a long term volunteer working with the conference disaster ministries staff on Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma recovery.
$500 UCC Storrs Congregational church as a grant to assist with supporting a volunteer work group to travel to New Orleans to repair homes.
$23,867 UCCNews insert on participation of UCC in hurricane recovery: "Walking the line between devastation and hope" (note: UCNews circulation is185,000).
$6,000 Back Bay Mission, support for long term volunteers to serve as mission trip coordinators and site managers for repairs and rebuilding.
$50,000 UCC South Central Conference to purchase building materials for repairing and rebuilding of homes of persons who are under-insured or not insured.
$50,000 Committee for Plaquemines Recovery (long term recovery committee) for building materials for people with unmet needs in Plaquemines Parish, LA.
$50,000 Jefferson Disaster Recovery Committee (long term recovery committee) for building materials for people with unmet needs in Jefferson Parish, LA.
$35,000 Southwest Mississippi Recovery Network (long term recovery committee) for caseworker to assist persons with unmet needs.
$50,000 Church World Service Advocacy Fund (note: support for two years of Ag-Missions work with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund) support for home and land owners to retain ownership where developers are pressuring for unfair buyouts in Biloxi, Gulfport and Pass Christian, MS; and New Orleans, La.
$25,000 Terrebonne Readiness and Assistance Coalition (long term recovery committee) to repair and rebuild homes in 21 south Louisiana parishes.
$20,000 Stone County Long Term Recovery Committee to assist with administrative costs for staff, and caseworkers to repair and rebuild homes for persons with unmet needs.
$25,000 Church World Service, (Hurricane Katrina) to support distribution of blankets, health kits, and continued deployment of Disaster Response and Recovery Liaisons to work with establishment of Long Term Recovery Committees.
$25,000 Church World Service, (Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) to support advocacy issues as they arise on the Gulf Coast; i.e. land ownership rights for people returning to communities, jobs. Through CWS, funding was provided to Interfaith Worker Justice.
$50,000 Boat People SOS, Inc. to assist the Vietnamese American community (approximately 36,000 live in the Gulf State region) impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Unmet needs include transportation money to search for employment, preparation of resumes, clothing for job interviews, supplies for repair of lightly damaged fishing boats, replacement of household furnishings, legal assistance for recovery and filing of lost and destroyed documentation.
$5,000 City of Refuge UCC to assist members of Freedom Fellowship Church in New Orleans to attend the national gathering of fellowship churches sponsored by City of Refuge. This annual gathering is an opportunity for fellowship members to gather for worship, support and continuing education.
$12,199 to assist with a weekend retreat for 57 women from UCC churches in Louisiana; an opportunity for women to begin a healing process.
$15,000 Mix in '06 to assist 25 women from the South Central Conference impacted by the 2005 hurricanes to attend the women's event in Indianapolis. The women attending will participate in planned events including leadership in worship with opportunity to tell their stories to women from across the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
$25,000 Missouri Interfaith Disaster Recovery Organization (MIDRO) to support long term recovery committees throughout Missouri who are assisting persons evacuated and still displaced by the hurricanes.
$25,000 Disaster Recovery Services of George County, Mississippi – interfaith support to buy materials to repair and rebuild homes for persons who are under insured; or, have no insurance. Volunteer work groups will provide the labor.
$25,000 Interfaith Disaster Task Force (Jackson, Hancock and Harrison Counties in Mississippi) – interfaith support to buy materials to repair and rebuild homes for persons who are under insured; or, have no insurance. Volunteer work groups will provide the labor.
$170,000 Community of Faith Church of Houston (UCC/Disciples of Christ) - Amistad Resettlement Project, to assist in paying resettlement costs (job re-training; housing; food and clothing; medical assistance) for 82 evacuated families who have been identified to participate in long-term resettlement project.
$15,000 Community of Faith Church Of Houston (UCC/Disciples of Christ) – to assist with costs to bring 27 people from the Amistad Resettlement Project to Cleveland for the United Black Christians meeting.
$50,000 Church World Service - Relocation Program for Displaced Americans, relocation of families in various sites across U.S.
$15,000 UCC Southeast Conference to meet emergency needs; feeding evacuees in Atlanta through the Hosea Williams Feeding Program (at the request of Ambassador Andrew Young).
$20,000 UCC Back Bay Mission, Biloxi, Mississippi to re-establish mission site for emergency relief and long-term recovery and rebuilding.
$5,000 Purchase of two Iridium satellite phones and service for use by Back Bay Mission staff as long as normal land-line and cell phone communications are disrupted.
$40,000 UCC related Dillard University, New Orleans to assist with repairs on damage to campus and restore operations.
$5,000 UCC related Olivet College, Michigan, to help cover costs of feeding and sheltering 18 evacuees.
$10,000 Farm Worker Association of Florida to assist migrant farm workers unemployed when the crops were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
$113,800 Good Shepherd UCC, Metairie, Louisiana to prepare church building (repaired damages, remove mold) to serve long term as site for UCC volunteer work groups.
$10,690 St. Matthew UCC, New Orleans, Louisiana to prepare church building (install showers, kitchen facilities) to serve long term as site for UCC volunteer work groups.
$10,000 Howard University, Washington, DC to help support 205 students "alternative Spring Break" in the New Orleans area – served as volunteers to rebuild and repair homes for persons who are have no insurance or are under-insured.
$14,000 Church World Service - (Hurricane Rita) to support distribution of blankets, health kits, and deployment of Disaster Response and Recovery Liaisons.
$4,500 Plymouth Congregational UCC, Beaumont, TX (Hurricane Rita) to assist the community with relief and recovery needs.
$20,000 Old First Church, Springfield, MA – support for books for Gulf Coast; church is working with school districts and local organizations to replace books through an ongoing book program. Shipments of 350,000 books have now been sent to schools, hospitals and libraries on the Gulf Coast (Louisiana and Mississippi).
$15,000 New York Disaster Interfaith Services – support for resettlement of evacuees in New York City.
$20,000 Louisiana Environmental Action Network to support an intern who will work in communities to address health and safety issues in the greater New Orleans area. The intern will attend meetings of recovery groups to discuss environmental aspects of this disaster; and to distribute fact sheets including environmental data.
$30,000 Louisiana Environmental Action Network to assist with direct relief efforts for residents - providing "Re-entry Protection Kits" that contain protective clothing and eyewear, gloves, biohazard bags, and particulate respirators, as well as more bleach, and hopefully, if we can find them in time, buckets and detergents.
$50,000 Into Afrika – Exodus Ministries to facilitate radio town hall meetings for the Diaspora to receive critical information and have a voice in plans for how to rebuild their communities.
$20,000 UCC South Central Conference – support for new church start in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – Malcolm Richard, pastor.
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