Rebuilding Lives Summit in Lake Charles

REBUILDING LIVES SUMMIT
When: Saturday, January 10, 2009 from Noon – 5:30pm
Where: Contraband Room, Lake Charles 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, Louisiana

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAY! SPACE IS LIMITED http://www.americaspeaks.org/rebuildingtogether

To participate in the Rebuilding Lives Summit, please complete the registration form online by January 2, 2009.

AmericaSpeaks will convene a diverse group of Louisiana residents who continue to seek to rebuild their lives in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike to share the challenges they face and identify the support they need to rebuild their lives. A diverse state-wide coalition of advocates, service providers and agency officials will respond to resident priorities and create an action plan to address them.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN THE DAY OF THE SUMMIT?
Citizens from across southern Louisiana who have been impacted by major hurricanes within the last three years will gather to have their voices heard by approximately 100 agency officials, community and elected leaders, advocates and service providers. Using the AmericaSpeaks 21st Century Town Hall format, citizens will articulate the collective priorities of those who continue to seek permanent affordable housing and other supports to reestablish their lives in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike.

WHAT WILL THE RESULT BE?
The Summit will establish a framework for a Rebuilding Lives Agenda and Implementation Strategy that is embraced by citizens, policy makers, service providers and elected and community leadership. The development of acoalition of citizens, agency leaders, elected officials, advocates and service providers that is prepared to implement the agenda is already underway.

WHO WILL BE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE?
Thousands of citizens displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita continue to be in transition. Thousands of other lives have been impacted by Gustav and Ike. The Summit will invite a diverse sample of citizens within these primary target populations:

– Those who have a FEMA number who are currently in transition to the Disaster  Housing Assistance Program (DHAP);

– Those who are not eligible to receive federal assistance who find themselves without necessary supports to obtain permanent housing and other resources to rebuild their lives;

 – Those who are struggling to pay inflated insurance premiums and deductibles to make necessary repairs on their properties; and

 – Those who have suffered lost wages, lost property and communities due to evacuations and time away from work and home.

Agencies, organizations and leaders who are charged with addressing the needs of these citizens and who are working on their behalf will have an opportunity to contribute to the conversation and the creation of the Rebuilding Lives Agenda.

AmericaSpeaks Involvement in the Recovery Effort
AmericaSpeaks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing citizens with a greater voice in the most important decisions that impact their lives. After Hurricane Katrina, AmericaSpeaks partnered with the APA and AIA to convene the Louisiana Recovery and Rebuilding Conference for 650 leaders, stakeholders and residents. AmericaSpeaks was asked to support the Unified New Orleans Planning Process (UNOP) for which it convened two Community Congresses that engaged 4,000 residents including those in the diaspora. Over the past year, AmericaSpeaks has worked with the residents of FEMA trailer parks to support them in communicating their needs to agency officials. AmericaSpeaks worked with the residents of Renaissance Village to develop a Housing Transition Plan that was presented to agency officials by 350 residents last December.

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