A year after Katrina, Habitat for Humanity continues long-term recovery efforts
AMERICUS, Ga. (Aug. 28, 2006) – A year after Hurricane Katrina came ashore on the Gulf Coast, Habitat for Humanity continues its efforts to help low-income families rebuild.
Immediately after the hurricane struck, Habitat launched its Operation Home Delivery program to help displaced, low-income families in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama rebuild permanent housing as part of the region’s long-term reconstruction. The operation grew to include assistance for people in Texas and western Louisiana affected by Hurricane Rita. By the summer of 2007, the organization plans to have built 1,000 houses.
Habitat for Humanity’s Operation Home Delivery has begun constructing or completed nearly 400 homes with the help of more than 14,000 volunteers from across the United States and Canada. Habitat has raised nearly $122 million in donations and pledges for the long-term effort and continues to seek funding and volunteers to help as many displaced low-income families as possible.
“Habitat for Humanity has received an enormous outpouring of support from across the country and around the world,” said Ken Meinert, senior vice president of Operation Home Delivery for Habitat for Humanity International. “We are truly grateful for the many people who are giving their time and resources to help low-income families rebuild their lives in these important communities.”
An international homebuilding movement with operations in nearly 100 countries, Habitat for Humanity has been at work in the Gulf Coast helping low-income families build permanent housing for more than 20 years. Operation Home Delivery funding and support has assisted Gulf Coast Habitat affiliates in broadening their efforts to house even more people during the rebuilding process.
“Our strategy is, and always has been, to work through local Habitat affiliates and communities and to develop partnerships with organizations to help low-income families build simple, decent homes and recover,” said Meinert. “There is much that has been accomplished but much more work to do.”
In addition to building homes, Habitat also is working to serve as a catalyst that brings together organizations to address low-income housing and recovery on a scale that Habitat alone would not be able to accomplish. In the past year, Habitat has partnered with Church World Service to help fund the repair of homes for low-income families and with The Salvation Army to increase building capacity, volunteer accommodations and affordability of homes along the Gulf Coast. Lutheran Social Services and other Katrina Aid Today consortium members are also actively engaged in helping families find appropriate housing solutions, including Habitat homes. Many other partnerships and collaborations are ongoing with community and faith groups and long-term recovery committees.
Volunteers can sign up to help build in a Gulf Coast community and donations for this continued effort can be made online at www.habitat.org.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.