Friday September 16, 2005
While the flow of Hurricane Katrina evacuees into Louisville has slowed, Mayor Jerry Abramson today said the city continues to support the hundreds of displaced Gulf Coast residents in Louisville.
“We’re committed to helping our fellow Americans put their lives back together,” Abramson said.
The Louisville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross estimates that more than 2,100 Gulf Coast residents are currently in Louisville. Approximately 300 families - representing close to 1,000 people - have sought housing assistance through Metro Government.
The city has developed a community partnership to assist in housing those displaced residents who need help and who will be in Louisville for the next several months, Abramson said.
Louisville Metro Housing & Community Development has identified a network of property owners and landlords representing more than 1,000 units of housing across the community. The city is working with the Coalition for the Homeless and a collaboration of more than 60 faith-based organizations to “sponsor” each Gulf Coast family placed in housing.
A sponsor will be linked with Gulf Coast families to coordinate - on behalf of the families - with the various social-service and nonprofit agencies that have collected furniture, household goods and food, in order to outfit the families’ housing with the appropriate items. The Norton Healthcare Office of Church & Health Ministries is compiling offers from faith-based and other groups interested in sponsoring Gulf Coast families.
Metro Government will provide assistance moving furniture and other items, using trucks provided by A. Arnold, RAM Engineering and Construction, and Temple Trucking Services.
Metro Government will work with its network of property owners and landlords to cover the cost of rent and utilities through Dec. 31, 2005, if needed. The amount that will be covered is based on fair-market rents approved by U.S. Housing & Urban Development. Metro Government will be reimbursed through FEMA for the expenses. Those families who need assistance beyond Dec. 31 will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, under the city’s existing federal guidelines for providing housing assistance.
Gulf Coast families who wish to participate in the city’s housing-assistance program should be registered with the Louisville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross and have a FEMA identification number by 5 p.m., Monday, Sept. 19. Families may visit the Housing table at the Family Assistance Center at the Louisville Gardens.
Family Assistance Center to transition to Red Cross office
As the flow of displaced Gulf Coast residents slows, the Family Assistance Center - that Metro Government and the American Red Cross have operated since Sept. 8 - will reduce hours over the next several days. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 22, the service will transition to the American Red Cross office at 510 E. Chestnut St. The operating hours for the Family Assistance Center, at 525 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., are:
· Saturday, Sept. 17 - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
· Sunday, Sept. 18 - Closed
· Monday, Sept. 19 - Noon to 6 p.m.
· Tuesday, Sept. 20 - Noon to 6 p.m.
· Wednesday, Sept. 21 - Noon to 6 p.m.
The assistance services provided at the Family Assistance Center will be available at the American Red Cross office beginning Thursday.
· To donate furniture or to offer available rental property call MetroCall at 311 or (502) 574-5000.
· To be a “sponsor” and help settle a Gulf Coast family into housing provided through the city’s housing-assistance program, faith-based groups should call the Norton Healthcare Office of Church and Health Ministries, (502) 629-2700.
· To register with the American Red Cross, displaced Gulf Coast residents can visit the Family Assistance Center at the Louisville Gardens, 525 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, or at the American Red Cross, 510 E. Chestnut St., beginning Thursday.
· To register with FEMA, displaced residents may register with FEMA by calling (800) 621-FEMA (3362), or TTY (800) 462-7585 (speech & hearing impaired), or visiting www.fema.gov .