IOCC Hurricane Response Turns to Long-Term Recovery Efforts
Houston, Texas (September 14, 2005) — With displaced families relocating from massive shelters to long-term accommodations and children finding placements in schools, some semblance of normalcy is returning for people displaced by the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Katrina.
“It continues to be an evolving situation, but national and community agencies that traditionally meet local needs are responding with food, shelter and clothing,” reported Frank Carlin of the IOCC Emergency Response Team in Houston, Texas. “Increasingly, our efforts are focusing on meeting unmet emergency needs – people who need to fill prescriptions, providing transportation, helping people purchase eyeglasses and the like.”
IOCC aid workers note that the human toll of the disaster and process of recovery will take years.
“People are dying mentally and spiritually from the pressure of having lost everything and from the depression that has ultimately resulted,” observed one displaced person living in a shelter in Morganza, La. that has been served by IOCC.
The IOCC relief efforts will continue to evolve as the needs of those who have been displaced change.
With humanitarian efforts in the Gulf Coast shifting to long-term recovery, IOCC announced today that it will no longer be accepting additional donations of material aid for the Hurricane Katrina victims and asks that future donations be restricted to monetary contributions.
Emergency Response personnel reported that shipments received and others already in transit will allow IOCC to continue the distribution of basic supplies for the immediate future.
IOCC will continue to accept personal hygiene and school kits as part of its ongoing “Gift of the Heart” program run in cooperation with Church World Service (CWS). The kits should be sent to the CWS warehouse in New Windsor, Md. The address and required contents of the kits may be found on IOCC’s website at www.iocc.org/kits. Kits cannot be accepted directly by the IOCC teams in Baton Rouge, La., Houston, Texas or Mobile, Ala.
Contributions to IOCC’s Hurricane Disaster Response Fund may be sent to IOCC, “Hurricane Relief,” P.O. Box 630225, Baltimore, MD 21263-0225. Donations may also be made online at www.iocc.org or by calling toll-free 1-877-803-IOCC (4622).
Founded in 1992, IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA).