Trailer Transition Household Establishment Funds

BATON ROUGE, La. – Beginning today, the Louisiana Family Recovery Corps will begin taking appointments for hurricane-impacted residents living in select FEMA trailer communities interested in applying for aid through the newly created Trailer Transition Household Establishment Funds, or HEF, program, which will offer one-time assistance for rent, furniture and appliances.Through the Trailer Transition HEF program, residents in select FEMA trailer communities that meet certain eligibility requirements and that are well-positioned to sustain a household once leaving the trailer community can receive up to $1,500 in assistance for rental deposits and payments; utility deposits; and the purchase of basic furniture and appliances such as a bed, stove, washer, dryer and refrigerator.

Due to limitations in funding for transitioning families out of FEMA trailers, the Recovery Corps selected high population sites with upcoming close dates in the three greater metropolitan areas of Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and New Orleans. Residents of the following 14 FEMA trailer sites are eligible to participate: Mount Olive Church and Renaissance Village in Baton Rouge; Crying Eagle Village and Country Aire Mobile Home Park in Lake Charles; and Airline Oaks Mobile Home Park, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Southern University at New Orleans #1, Southern University at New Orleans #2, Parc D’Orleans Inc. Trailer Park, Expanded RTA Algiers Park and Ride, Captain Larry, Diamond Community Center, Colomb Property and Mary Ann’s Trailer Park in New Orleans.

“With our current level of funding, the Recovery Corps is aiming to transition at least 1,000 families out of FEMA trailers into more stable living environments. While we certainly wish we could impact all families living in all trailer communities, the budget realities in which we live have directed our program focus on some of the largest FEMA trailer communities,” said Raymond A. Jetson, chief executive officer of the Recovery Corps. “What we have found is that lack of time and transportation in their day-to-day lives can be barriers to families getting assistance, so we are doing our best to bring the aid to them as they continue to recover from the lingering effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.”

The Recovery Corps recently launched a companion HEF program for hurricane-affected families in need of assistance with re-establishing their households. To date, the Recovery Corps has scheduled more than 2,500 appointments for those families to begin receiving assistance.

To administer and implement the Trailer Transition HEF program in the Lake Charles area, the Recovery Corps awarded a services contract to Human Services Response Institute, or HSRI, a non-profit organization providing professional counseling, education and advocacy programs for youth and families in Southwest Louisiana. In the Baton Rouge area, the Recovery Corps chose Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, or CCDBR, which has provided case management services to more than 5,000 hurricane-impacted families. To offer the Trailer Transition HEF program in the New Orleans area, Harmony Center, Inc., a non-profit offering communities across the state a variety of services including crisis counseling, mental health rehabilitation and educational services, was selected.

While HSRI, CCDBR and Harmony Center will be involved with the daily operations of the program in their respective geographic areas, the Recovery Corps will provide management and oversight of the assistance given to disaster-affected residents who qualify. All three organizations will set up service locations in their respective FEMA trailer communities. HSRI, CCDBR and Harmony Center will also provide staff to conduct appointments with qualified households and issue HEF vouchers. With current funding, the Recovery Corps envisions assisting at least 1,000 households with the Trailer Transition HEF program.

Beginning today, residents interested in participating in the Recovery Corps’ Trailer Transition HEF program must call 1-800-333-3104 to verify their initial eligibility and schedule an appointment. Eligible residents must be living in the aforementioned FEMA trailer communities and well positioned to sustain a household once leaving the trailer community. No walk-ins will be allowed. Appointments are scheduled to begin on Monday, Nov. 12, 2007.

To be considered for a Trailer Transition HEF voucher, residents must be at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level (family size and income chart can be viewed at http://www.recoverycorps.org/HEF); be working a minimum of 24 hours per week; and be a current resident of FEMA trailer communities at Mount Olive Church or Renaissance Village in Baton Rouge; Crying Eagle Village or Country Aire Mobile Home Park in Lake Charles; and Airline Oaks Mobile Home Park, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Southern University at New Orleans #1, Southern University at New Orleans #2, Parc D’Orleans Inc. Trailer Park, Expanded RTA Algiers Park and Ride, Captain Larry, Diamond Community Center, Colomb Property and Mary Ann’s Trailer Park in New Orleans.

Eligible residents must also have a pre-storm address in one of the hurricane-affected parishes, which include: Acadia, Allen, Assumption, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, Sabine, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Mary, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermillion, Vernon or Washington. Additional requirements apply and will be outlined with applicants upon scheduling their appointment.

About the Recovery Corps
The Recovery Corps, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is based in Baton Rouge, La., was formed in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Through contractual arrangements with human service organizations and other non-profit organizations, the Recovery Corps has assisted more than 30,000 hurricane-affected households with recovery planning, housing, children’s services and emotional well-being needs since January 2006. To learn more, visit www.recoverycorps.org.

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