Since the April 20th Deepwater Horizon explosion, the families of Louisiana’s coastal parishes have been made vulnerable. Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans has been on the ground since May 1, providing help and hope in this time of crisis.
BP recently announced that it will be providing the state with $15 million to make mental health services available to those affected by the spill through Catholic Charities’ counseling services. While this funding will help the residents of Louisiana’s coastal parishes to develop long-term coping mechanisms for dealing with the effects of the spill, many families are struggling with making ends meet on a day-to-day basis.
This project will ensure that families living in affected areas have access to basic necessities as they face great economic hardship. Become the Citizen Philanthropist for this project, and provide emergency food and living assistance to fishing families directly affected by the Gulf Oil Spill.
This project will fund Catholic Charities’ Gulf Oil Spill Relief Direct Assistance for 30 days by providing emergency food assistance and direct financial assistance to families in the affected areas. Catholic Charities has been serving 600 families per week, with each family receiving approximately $100 in gift cards from local grocery stores in addition to food boxes. In addition, non-food items such as vouchers for utility payments, and rental and mortgage assistance will be distributed to approximately 200 families per week. On average, families receive about $200 in assistance as a one-time offer of assistance for a 30-day period.
It is estimated that over 47,500 households in Louisiana’s coastal parishes will suffer a loss of income as a result of the Gulf Oil Spill. The economic impact of the spill has been devastating for the families in coastal parishes who make their living from the fishing, seafood and oil industries. Families are struggling to get by as they wait for their claims to be processed. Many families have lost up to $45,000 in supplies, insurance and other investments for this year’s fishing season and are sinking deeper into debt. This economic hardship places great stress on these families, who are now unable to afford basic necessities. As families face unemployment and wait for claims to be processed, direct assistance will provide much needed relief. Catholic Charities will be able to help families meet both short- and long-term needs by providing both services that alleviate the immediate economic effect of the oil spill and long-term counseling services to the residents of coastal parishes.
The Direct Assistance will be a part of Catholic Charities’ comprehensive response to the Gulf Oil Spill. In order to serve the fishing communities affected by the oil spill, Catholic Charities and its affiliated ministry, Second Harvest Food Bank, have partnered with Catholic parishes, local governments, state agencies (DSS and DHH), and other area non-profits. Catholic Charities has been operating its relief efforts at 7 sites in southeast Louisiana, serving an estimated 23,800 people through August 16. Catholic Charities has hired additional case managers to staff community centers, and qualified mental health professionals to administer counseling services to affected residents. To date, over 12,000 individuals have received case management or counseling from one of Catholic Charities’ relief centers.
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Dorothy F. donated to Holiday Harvest - Gulf Coast, USA! - over 2 years ago visit the project
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Martin B. donated to Holiday Harvest - Gulf Coast, USA! - over 2 years ago visit the project
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