“I don’t think I can do this again,” said John, a 70-year-old homeowner in Franklinton, Louisiana.
John’s home was damaged by Hurricane Isaac in 2012, but he was able to recover with assistance. Today, his home and hundreds like it are again in need of repair.
“We come in the name of Christ, with an attitude of prayer, to bring restoration to people’s hearts as well as their homes.”
Heavy rain and flooding in Louisiana in early March damaged thousands of homes that were affected Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Isaac in 2012, as well homes that have never flooded before.
During the week of March 8, 2016, heavy rainfall affected most of Louisiana as well as Mississippi and Texas. By late March, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved $37 million in assistance for housing, transportation, and medical needs related to the disaster. Recovery costs are expected to rise as the water recedes and full extent of the damage is uncovered.
“Right now, there are 900 damaged or destroyed houses in Washington Parish,” said Sharon Kelly, a representative of WEROC, World Renew’s local partner in Franklinton. “The median household income here is $24,000, so most people can’t afford to move, can’t afford to fix their houses again, and don’t want to leave their home. It is absolutely devastating for them.”
A World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) team arrived in Franklinton on March 30, 2016, to help homeowners muck out and clean up their houses one more time.
“Your volunteers are Godsent!” said Kelley. “World Renew DRS has been there to help us in the past, and I know you will help us again.”
World Renew DRS worked in Washington Parish and nearby neighborhoods on the Gulf Coast in response to Katrina in 2005. More than 30,900 DRS volunteers donated 2.7 million hours of their time to help residents in 19 Louisiana communities recover from Katrina and other storms since 2005. The volunteers assessed needs, offered community training in recovery organization, and helped elderly, low-income, and disabled residents clean up and rebuild their homes.
“As World Renew DRS volunteers, as Christians, we know we can offer more than tearing out drywall or laying flooring,” said Len and Carrie Blauwkamp World Renew regional managers for Louisiana. “We come in the name of Christ, with an attitude of prayer, to bring restoration to people’s hearts as well as their homes.”
Will you share Christ's hope to flood survivors like John recovering in Louisiana?
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*Feature photo courtesy of Louisiana State Facebook page