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August 31, 2010
New Orleans, LA - The Salvation Army is sponsoring a "Green Home Design Competition" in conjunction with the US Green Building Council. The "house" winners of this design competition will be built in the Broadmoor Neighborhood in New Orleans. Read the full press release Here.
August 25, 2010
New Orleans, LA - On August 26th The Salvation Army will host an unprecedented summit of specialists, community leaders and academics, utilizing experience, research and expertise to discuss solutions for building community resiliency in a post-disaster environment.
The Salvation Army has answered the call from FedEx to lead a discussion on resiliency and recovery that not only reflects on the progress achieved throughout New Orleans’ communities, but also stimulates discussion around strategies for both further restoring New Orleans’ neighborhoods, and using recovery as an opportunity to build long-term capacity and resiliency.
The Resiliency Summit will be a one-day event featuring speakers from across the country to engage in topics including neighborhood empowerment, community buy-in, leveraging resources and opportunities for advancement and to reflect upon the progress made five years following Hurricane Katrina.
Speakers include local and national leaders in the field of community resiliency and disaster recovery. Keynote addresses will be provided by Dr. Frederick Weil, PhD of Louisiana State University and Cameron Sinclair, Chief Eternal Optimist (CEO) and co-founder of the internationally renowned Architecture for Humanity. Dr. Weil and Mr. Sinclair will be joined by fellow champions of community building such as Broadmoor neighborhood advocate Latoya Cantrell. A full list of speakers and biographies can be found at http://www.envirenew.org/resiliencysummit.aspx.
Since 2005, New Orleans’ recovery has been closely monitored as an unprecedented case study in recovery. The Resiliency Summit seeks to provide a platform for a serious discussion based on the experience, research and findings from the last five years to refine the concepts and practices of neighborhood recovery and community resiliency building.
Why The Salvation Army?
As a primary provider for emergency services, The Salvation Army has a unique perspective – and interest – in preparing New Orleans’ communities with proactive preventative investments, in lieu of traditional reactive crisis management. The Salvation Army has spent over $300 million in the Gulf Coast since 2005, providing everything from food, shelter, clothing and furniture to spiritual support and rebuilding funds.
Area Commander Captain Ethan Frizzell explains this summit as an opportunity to address the underlying cause of suffering. “Our hope in each day of service is that we are preparing one resident, to be one neighbor, in one community, for one generation to pass strength on to the next.” In the context of emergency preparedness, building community resiliency is especially poignant this time of year. Captain Frizzell explains, “One constant in New Orleans history is the need for resilience. As The Salvation Army has shared the compassion of donors from around the country it is necessary that our community is not restored for a moment, but prepared for every season, every year.”
The Salvation Army’s Innovative Approach
Recently, The Salvation Army has introduced two new programs providing significant, tangible grants into vulnerable communities. The Emerge program encourages school attendance, leadership and academic engagement through an incentives program in Recovery School District middle schools.
Most notably, the EnviRenew program – a $12 million green housing initiative - has announced the selection of five partnering neighborhoods to receive up to $2.25 million each for new, green affordable housing, renewable energy and energy retrofit grants to new and existing residents. The partners are Broadmoor, Riverview, Project Home Again (Gentilly), Pontchartrain Park and Honeybee Road (Northshore). By concentrating efforts in Green Renew Zones within each neighborhood, EnviRenew aims to create a model of sustainable recovery with strategic partnerships, investments and best practices.
Emerge and EnviRenew are in addition to The Salvation Army’s existing Center of Hope and Citadel programs, which provide emergency financial, shelter, food and spiritual care to families and individuals in crisis.
Submitted by Mark Jones, Divisional PR Director LM Division
Building Resilient Communities includes community centers, educational programs and women’s and children shelters
August 24, 2010
New Orleans, LA - Since the start of the disaster recovery, The Salvation Army has been an integral part of the disaster-relief effort, extending help and assistance to over 2.6 million people affected by Hurricane Katrina. In 2006, The Salvation Army Alabama - Louisiana - Mississippi Division Headquarters launched a Community Recovery Plan for Louisiana and Mississippi, with the objectives of building community capacity, sustaining affordability, ensuring quality of life and improving community resilience.
The Plan is composed of six key projects.
- Project One – The Army established eight Major Distribution Centers along the Gulf Coast where pre-registered Salvation Army clients could go to shop for free donated in-kind goods such as furniture and large appliances. Over 106,100 families received assistance from Distribution Centers.
- Project Two – The Army provided emergency relief at Disaster Assistance Centers, which served as the information hub for clients as well as distribution points for food and clothing. At the centers, clients met with trained caseworkers to register for Salvation Army services, including cash gift card distribution. The Army opened 265,100 cases representing over 828,000 individuals.
- Project Three - Army representatives participated in long-term community recovery efforts, meetings and committees throughout the region. Discretionary funds were allocated for use on programs that broadly benefit disaster victims within a community, such as buying tools for rebuild teams or purchasing a generator for a key community facility. The Army supported 2,412 community projects valued at over $5.5 million.
- Project Four – The Army helped fund and supply professional housing rebuild teams from other relief organizations and created volunteer villages that offered housing to relief workers. As part of the project, The Army transitioned two key warehouse facilities in La Place, LA and Biloxi, MS, to become reconstruction supply facilities and tool banks for recognized rebuild groups. Over 8,000 individuals resided at the volunteer villages representing over 56,000 nights of lodging for recovery teams. Over 84,000 cases helping 350,200 people with repair, rebuilding, furnishings and supplies.
- Project Five – Over 2,200 homeownership partner grants were distributed evenly to Louisiana and Mississippi. The Army worked with partner organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, to provide financial resources for the purchase of new homes.
- Project Six – The Army allocated resources to help at least 5,000 people who became unemployed as a result of the hurricanes to receive job training and re-employment services, in cooperation with partner organizations.
Following the Community Recovery Plan, The Salvation Army began carrying out a series of programs and projects across the Gulf Coast that will enhance community resilience.
The Salvation Army continues to make investments in the long-term viability and resilience of communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina. These investments look to the future and mark a significant investment in the long term mission of The Salvation Army in communities across the region.
- New Orleans, LA: The Salvation Army, with local partners, is currently developing 125 new, energy efficient and affordable homes, and renovating 125 more with green building standards in New Orleans and surrounding areas as part of its EnviRENEW program. The houses will be occupied by police officers, teachers and other key groups to encourage growth and development in the community. The $12.5 million program will also provide grants to an additional 500 homeowners to weatherize and increase energy efficiency in existing homes. Energy efficient housing lowers owner occupancy expenses enabling greater long term savings for low and fixed income households.
- Area Schools: The Army is also working to improve attendance rates at area middle and high schools through the Emerge program. Results so far are encouraging with 19 of the 21 local Emerge schools averaging 92 percent-plus attendance. The Salvation Army will host a “Resiliency Summit” August 26 in New Orleans to bring community leaders together to discuss these and other long-term recovery efforts in the city.
- Mobile, AL: Late last month, The Salvation Army opened a new shelter for women and children on the site of a shelter destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The new shelter will house up to 50 homeless mothers and their children and provide case management, child care and educational opportunities.
- Biloxi, MS: The Salvation Army has begun construction on a 52,000 square foot Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in an area devastated following Hurricane Katrina. The $16 million center will feature a water park, a fitness center and performing arts space. The new building is on the site of Yankie Stadium – where The Salvation Army previously operated a “volunteer village” for Katrina aid workers. The center is scheduled to open in late 2011.
Recovery projects are intended to enhance opportunities for children and families, while also creating a sense of community and cohesiveness among residents. The Emerge program in New Orleans and the Kroc Center in Biloxi will have a significant impact on the future of children and families long after recovery is complete.
“A building like this (Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center) will change the dynamics of this community.” stated Lt. Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi.
“Through EnviRENEW and Emerge, The Salvation Army will uphold its dedication to the recovery of New Orleans until the day people return and once again prosper in their hometown,” stated Captain Ethan Frizzell, Area Commander for The Salvation Army in New Orleans.
Submitted by Mark Jones, Divisional PR Director, ALM Division