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UMCOR Awards $5 Million in Grants For Katrina Recovery to Benefit 6,600 More Families

NEW YORK, May 15, 2006-An additional 6,600 families and several hundred homeless individuals will benefit from partnerships announced by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Sixteen local voluntary organizations have joined UMCOR's Katrina Aid Today initiative to deliver services to Katrina survivors.

The agency awarded a total of $5 million in privately funded grants for long-term recovery in Gulf Coast states and other regions that have received Katrina evacuees. The grants will augment services to special populations such as Asian-speaking, Spanish-speaking, homeless, and displaced. Grants ranged from $47,000 to $500,000.

The 16 organizations, selected by a grants review board, expand Katrina Aid Today into four additional states, bringing coverage to 34 states and more than 107,000 families.

A third of the funds may be used for cash assistance. The remainder supports family-by-family recovery and problem solving known as case management.

Trained by UMCOR, the staff and volunteers will help survivors identify sources of support, develop personal recovery plans, acquire access to services and take appropriate actions to bring them to self-sufficiency. In addition agencies will be able to earmark a portion of the funds to provide cash assistance. Rent payments to landlords, medical expense, child care costs and basic necessities are among the uses covered, paid to providers of services.

The 16 organizations, in alphabetical order, are:

UMCOR received the nod from Federal Emergency Management Agency in October 2005 to manage a $66 million two-year grant for long term recovery of 100,000 families.

In accepting the grant from FEMA, UMCOR agreed to provide up to $5 million of its own private funds to augment the federal money. The agreement underlines UMCOR's commitment to building capacity within small, local grass roots organizations engaged in case management.

UMCOR is the humanitarian service agency of the United Methodist Church, active in disaster recovery and development programs in the United States and overseas since 1940.