August 1, 2006

State of Alabama
Press Release: Human Resources, Department of

DHR Providing Hurricane Katrina Relief to Louisiana and Mississippi Families

More than 650 Hurricane Katrina families from Louisiana and Mississippi have received cash assistance through a contract between the state Department of Human Resources and the United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA). The funds are available to eligible evacuees who fled federally declared disaster areas in Mississippi and Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina.

The funds are being used to help them stabilize their living and/or employment situations.

"Almost a year after their lives were shattered by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, many evacuees are still trying to recover. Thanks to a network of agencies led by UWCA, many evacuees have already received financial assistance with this daunting task," state DHR Commissioner Page Walley said.

The funds are being provided through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Response and Recovery Act of 2005. Approximately $7.3 million of this funding has been provided to Louisiana and Mississippi evacuee families who came to Alabama.

"August 31, 2006 is the deadline for these evacuees to apply for this assistance," Commissioner Walley said. He noted that they must meet several criteria in order to qualify.
The eligibility criteria include the following:
--Must have established permanent residence in Alabama.

--Must have evacuated from Louisiana or Mississippi.

--May not be receiving TANF.

--Must have at least one child under the age of 18 (or under 19 if the child is a full-time high school student).

--The household’s income must be less than 400 percent of poverty by family size. For example, a family of four whose income is less than $20,000 and who can show eligibility and need can receive as much as $12,000.

Case managers work with Hurricane Katrina survivors to develop a long-term plan for living and employment. Grants may be used for education, training, childcare, transportation, rent, utilities and other living and employment-related expenses. The client must provide documentation of need.

To make an appointment to apply for the Hurricane Katrina Resettlement Funds, Louisiana and Mississippi families should call 1-866-460-2128 or 1-205-458-3044.<

Commissioner Walley said, in the near future, DHR will release details about a program that is now being put into place to provide assistance to Alabama residents who were victims of Hurricane Katrina. "We are well aware that many of our citizens were victimized by this powerful storm and they, too, need help,” Commissioner Walley said.    

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