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Katrina placed heavy demands on Army

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Jeff Jellets, territorial disaster services coordinator, said Salvation Army personnel and resources were sent from the other three USA territories, as well as Canada and Mexico.

"I came to work here in early 2001, and within a few months we were faced with 9-11," Jellets said. "I thought at the time that nothing could be bigger than this. A few hurricane seasons later, four storms tore through Florida, and again I thought the same thing.

"Now that we are still dealing with Katrina and Rita, and will be for some years to come - it's hard to imagine anything bigger ahead," he said.

Jellets said that the Army's disaster service efforts are ongoing, especially along the Mississippi gulf coast, south Louisiana (including the New Orleans area) and the east Texas coastline. In addition, corps continue to minister to evacuees all over the country.

Jordan and Jellets agree that several benefits were realized during the past year.

"We did a lot of things right," Jordan said of the Army's relief and recovery efforts over the last year. "First, we didn't panic. Second, we placed the right people in the right places, reflecting the universality of The Salvation Army which came into play. Third, our work with other volunteer agencies has been outstanding and enhanced."

The Army's disaster work is a ministry, Jordan said. "It is not a part of ministry, or a certain kind of ministry - it is ministry in its own right. We are there as Christ Incarnate among people who are suffering."

The Salvation Army has made the transition from emergency disaster relief and response to community-based long-term recovery, with services that vary depending on the survivors' needs.

"The Army has forged a variety of partnerships, some of our partnerships with NGO's and FBO's (non-governmental and faith-based organizations) have been long-term and somewhat traditional, such as our relationship with the Southern Baptists," said Kevin Tomson-Hooper, territorial social services department director.

Due to the complexity of the social services continuum of care the Army has implemented in the recovery phase, new partnerships have been established to provide the broadest spectrum of service delivery. These new partnerships with Habitat for Humanity focus on supporting 1,000 households toward home ownership opportunities, Tomson-Hooper said.

"Plus, we have developed a partnership with the National Business Service Alliance, with a goal to provide 5,000 individuals with skill certification training to enhance their job skills. We are a member of the Katrina Aid Today National Case Management Program with the United Methodist Committee on Relief, through which The Salvation Army will provide 13,000 households with intensive case management support on their road to recovery throughout the gulf coast and across the country."

The goal is to continue seeking out the best approach to home reconstruction and new home construction with the intent being to maximize the generosity of the public who continues to support Salvation Army recovery programs.



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