Catholic Charities USA, the 100-year-old social service network working to reduce poverty in America, today released “Katrina & Rita: Five Years Later,” a report outlining the work of the Catholic Charities network as it responded to the life-sustaining needs of over 1.2 million people following the largest natural disaster in U.S. history.
The report, located at http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org, describes Catholic Charities’ sudden 2005 role as an early responder, providing survivors with emergency cash and rental assistance, food, medical supplies, crisis counseling, case management, transportation, temporary housing and employment services, as well as assistance in applying for government aid.
Local Catholic Charities agencies in over 30 states responded to the crisis. Of the $163 million raised by Catholic Charities USA, over $153 million went directly to agencies in the immediately impacted area, with over $116 million going to agencies in Louisiana. The remaining funds were distributed to agencies across the country providing support to evacuees.
Nationally, Catholic Charities USA’s response efforts included widespread media outreach, enhanced collaboration with new and existing partner organizations, and testimony before a Senate committee chaired by Senator Hillary Clinton. Following its well-documented provision of disaster services in the aftermath of Katrina, Gustav and Ike, in 2009 Catholic Charities USA was selected by the government to provide disaster case management nationwide.
The report also underscores Catholic Charities USA’s commitment to reduce poverty in America.
In September, Catholic Charities USA will celebrate its Centennial anniversary by bringing over 1,000 representatives from local Catholic Charities agencies and partner organizations as well as national speakers and experts on social issues to Washington, DC, for a 4-day gathering focusing on the solutions to poverty in America.
Catholic Charities USA was founded in 1910 “to bring about a sense of solidarity” among those in charitable ministries. Since 1910, Catholic Charities USA has encouraged professional social work practice, provided opportunities for training and networking, and served as a national voice and expert on poverty issues. The Centennial is a time to reflect on past accomplishments and renew the commitment to serve those in need. The organization has its headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.
Source: Catholic Charities USA