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ERD and EMM Begin Katrina Renewal Program Partnership With Funding from UMCOR

Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) was recently awarded funds from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to begin integrated case management services assisting Hurricane Katrina survivors in four states. ERD has partnered with Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) on the Katrina Renewal Program, which is targeting the most vulnerable hurricane survivors—children, the elderly, immigrant populations, racially and economically marginalized communities, and the mentally and physically disabled—who are unable to access critical services. The program will assess their needs and will provide counseling and referrals to appropriate services.

ERD will work through the EMM affiliate network, which is experienced in delivering case management services to refugees who have resettled from overseas camps, often with the help of churches, into U.S. communities. The Katrina Renewal Program will provide targeted funding for program administration and oversight to EMM offices in the following cities: Louisville, Kentucky; Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, Texas; New Haven, Connecticut; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Through Katrina Renewal, as many as 3,900 individuals will be served as part of a national ERD-supported domestic disaster service program.

“Our partnership with EMM complements ERD’s long-term, multi-year humanitarian recovery program working with the Dioceses of Louisiana and Mississippi,” said Robert W. Radtke, ERD President.

ERD is currently in Phase II of a four phase comprehensive program which is focused on providing psychosocial care, health and housing recovery, livelihood renewal, and small business development.

“I am excited that EMM, in our ongoing partnership with ERD, can continue its work with Katrina evacuees in so many parts of the country where evacuees await help in moving forward with their lives,” said C. Richard Parkins, EMM Director. “While the circumstances of these individuals may be old news for some,” Parkins added, “their plight and suffering are still with us.”

The UMCOR funding is part of Katrina Aid Today which is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the United States Department of Homeland Security.

“Together, ERD and EMM are working through the Episcopal Church to reach people most affected by the devastation in the Gulf Coast. Episcopalians can be proud their church is actively engaged in a coalition of social service and voluntary agencies rebuilding lives after Katrina,” said Radtke.

For over 60 years, Episcopal Migration Ministries has provided a way for Episcopalians to serve refugees and immigrants through resettlement, advocacy, and outreach.

Episcopal Relief and Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church of the United States. An independent 501(c) (3) organization, ERD saves lives and builds hope in communities around the world. We provide emergency assistance in times of crisis and rebuild after disasters. We enable people to climb out of poverty by offering long-term solutions in the areas of food security and health care, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.