Alexandria, Va. – Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) distributed more than $4 million in long term disaster recovery grant funding to 19 Catholic Charities agencies located across the country. Each of the agencies was located in a community that was hit by extreme weather events which occurred in December 2015 and throughout the calendar year of 2016.
“The mission of CCUSA is rooted in helping those in our society who are hurt and exposed to dangers, which certainly includes disaster survivors,” said Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD, president and CEO of CCUSA. She added that “Catholic Charities, because of our national reach through local agencies, is able to respond quickly in order to help people rebuild their lives.”
The funds were made available through the generosity of individuals and families who contributed to the national emergency collections that were held at many U.S. Catholic parishes last year. The collections were initiated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the wake of the natural disasters.
Whereas most forms of disaster support (money, labor, commodities, etc.) come immediately following a disaster, CCUSA’s disaster recovery grant contributes to the long term recovery of the neediest and most vulnerable populations affected. Catholic Charities agencies support all survivors, including those who have needs greater than what government programs cover and those for whom no government programs are provided (for example, those living in non-traditional housing like RVs and converted sheds or those who cannot establish home ownership). In addition to their recovery work, Catholic Charities agencies also help individuals and communities strengthen resiliency before, during and after a disaster.
CCUSA, the official domestic relief agency of the Catholic Church in the U.S., is committed to providing financial support to local Catholic Charities agencies that respond to natural disasters with compassionate care and sound stewardship of emergency funds, helping survivors regardless of faith tradition.
The 19 Catholic Charities agencies awarded funds for long term disaster recovery efforts are listed here (the kind of disaster is noted in the parentheses following the agency’s name): Beaumont, Texas (flooding); West Virginia (flooding); St. Louis, Mo. (flooding); Austin, Texas (flooding, tornado); Santa Rosa, Calif. (wild fires); Galveston/Houston, Texas (flooding); Baton Rouge, La. (tornado, flooding); St. Petersburg, Fla. (hurricane, flooding); Central Florida (hurricane, flooding); St. Augustine, Fla. (hurricane, flooding); Northwest Florida (hurricane, flooding); Charleston, S.C. (Hurricane Matthew); New Orleans, La. (flooding); Fort Wayne, Ind. (flooding); Southern Missouri (flooding, storms); Raleigh, N.C. (Hurricane Matthew); Dallas, Texas (tornadoes); Lafayette, La. (flooding); Lake Charles, La. (flooding).
ABOUT CATHOLIC CHARITIES
A member of Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the national office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. Catholic Charities USA’s members provide help and create hope to more than 15 million people a year regardless of religious, social or economic backgrounds. To learn more about CCUSA, please visit our website at www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.