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Thursday, September 08, 2005

How to Offer Your Help to the Hurricane Katrina Victims

HOW TO OFFER YOUR HELP NOW

For those individuals looking for ways to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, please refer to the following organizations:

Donate:

Operation Blessing
800-436-6348
www.ob.org

America's Second Harvest
800-344-8070
www.secondharvest.org

Adventist Community Services
800-381-7171
www.adventist.communityservices.org

Catholic Charities, USA
703-549-1390
www.catholiccharitiesusa.org

Christian Disaster Response
941-956-5183
www.cdresponse.org

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
800-848-5818
www.crwrc.org

Church World Service
800-297-1516
www.cws.org.nz

Convoy of Hope
417-823-8998
www.convoyofhope.org

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
800-440-6728
www.fema.gov

Humane Society
202-452-1100
www.hsus.org

Lutheran Disaster Response
800-638-3522
www.elca.org/disaster

Mennonite Disaster Service
717-859-2210
www.mds.mennonite.net

Nazarene Disaster Response
888-256-5886
www.nazarenedisasterresponse.org

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
800-872-3283
www.pcusa.org/pda

Red Cross
800-435-7669
www.redcross.org

Salvation Army
800-725-2769
www.salvationarmy.org

Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief
800-462-8657
www.sbc.ne t

SPCA of Texas
800-264-6257
www.spca.org

United Methodist Relief
800-554-8583
http://gbgm-umc.org/umcor

Housing Opportunities:

To offer a house for evacuees, please contact the Dallas Housing Authority at 214-951-8305. www.shareyourhome.org

Medical Expertise:

Dallas: 214-819-1922 or 972-692-2711
For health care professionals and relief personnel who want to assist in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, please contact 1-866-KATMEDI (1-866-528-6334) or https://volunteer.hhs.gov

Volunteering:

Salvation Army of Kaufman
972-962-1345

Volunteer Center of North Texas
214-826-6767 x299
www.volunteernorthtexas.org

Adopt/Foster an evacuated pet
972-562-7297
www.spca.org


FEDERAL HELP FOR EVACUEES:

FEMA:
Disaster victims are urged to register for assistance first by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or online at www.fema.gov. The TTY number is 1-800 462-7585 for those who are speech or hearing-impaired.

Housing:
For those who had been receiving Public Housing or Section 8 vouchers, call HUD toll-free at 1-800-955-2232. For all other information on housing needs, call HUD toll-free at 1-866-641-8102. All HUD operations performed out of the New Orleans Field Office have been transferred to the Ft. Worth Regional Office.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can also be called toll-free at 1-800-621-3362 or register online at www.fema.gov.

Dallas Housing Authority (for cities in Dallas County) at 214-951-8300

Garland Housing Authority (accepting walk-ins) at 972-205-3393
210 Carver Street, Suite 201B
Garland, TX 75040
www.shareyourhome.org

Mesquite Section 8 Housing (for those already qualified for Section 8) 972-329-8727. Terrell: Red Cross at 972-551-5560 or Chamber of Commerce at 972-563-5703

The Office of Housing recently published a mortgage letter reminding lenders of the 203(h) disaster program and encouraging servicers to delay foreclosure in counties and parishes declared federal disaster areas and to consider hurricane damage in the context of any requests for loss mitigation assistance.

Mail:
The U.S. Postal System wants to reconnect evacuees with their mail. Visit a nearby Post Office and complete a Change of Address Form or call toll free 1-800-275-8777 or visit www.usps.com.

Medical Attention:
People in Dallas County with medical conditions or for students who need their immunization shots for school, should call 211. They may also call the Health and Human Services Commission of Texas toll-free at 1-888-834-7406 or go by the Dallas Convention Center located at 650 S. Griffin Street.

Medicare and Medicaid:
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have set up additional staff to be of assistant. For those who want to know if they are eligible to enroll in Medicaid, need durable medical equipment or have questions, please call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227).

Missing Persons:
The American Red Cross has created and launched the Family Links Registry, which will aid individuals who are seeking loved ones and family members in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Family Links Registry can be accessed by visiting www.familylinks.icrc.org/katrina or by calling: 1-877-LOVED-1s (1-877-568-3317) to register or 1-866-438-4636.

Social Security:
Evacuees should go to the nearest Social Security Administration office where checks can be obtained. If possible, bring identification; if not, SSA can still assist you. For information on the nearest Social Security office, call toll-free to 1-800-772-1213. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing should call the TTY number at 1-800-325-0778, or visit www.socialsecurity.gov/emergency or www.ssa.gov.

The U.S. Postal Service and the Social Security Administration have established temporary, alternative locations for the distribution of Social Security checks to Louisiana and Mississippi residents who are unable to receive regular mail delivery service.

Unemployment Insurance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance:
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is assisting the Louisiana Department of Labor in processing Louisiana Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) claims due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Evacuees who have relocated to Texas may file a claim at www.laworks.net. Those in Dallas should call 214-252-1200; all other non-major metropolitan areas should call 1-800-939-6631.

In addition, Texas workforce development boards across the state with large numbers of Louisiana evacuees are establishing on site workforce centers including one at the Dallas Convention Center and other cities in Texas with displaced workers. Many of these boards will sponsor on-site job fairs to match workers with local employers. Several workforce boards are contributing the use of their mobile workforce centers to further assist with evacuees' needs.

Because of the catastrophic nature of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana is working around the clock to restructure the way Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) claims are accepted and how payments are delivered.

In order to be eligible for DUA, a claimant must have worked or been scheduled to work in the disaster area, or you could not get to your place of work because of disaster damage; have been prevented from working by an injury or illness as a direct result of the disaster; have become the head of the household and need employment because the head of the household died as a result of the disaster; or have been self-employed, but lost all or part of your livelihood as a result of this disaster (you will need to provide proof of your self-employment).

The Department of Labor can be called toll-free at 1-866-487-2365.
In Terrell, call 972-965-5100 ext. 104.

Veterans:
The Department of Veterans Affairs has set up a toll-free number (1-800-507-4571) for veterans who normally receive health care at VA facilities in New Orleans, LA, Gulfport, MS, and Biloxi, MS. The number can also be used by family members concerned about the location of veterans who were hospitalized at the above facilities.

For veterans who need medication or medical attention, a tele-nurse can be reached toll-free at 1-800-849-3597 (choose option 2).

The Dallas VA Medical Center (VAMC) is identifying veterans at Dallas area shelters and transporting them to the Dallas VAMC for evaluation and medication refills. The VA Regional Office will soon have an office at the Dallas Convention Center. VA Patients can call toll-free 1-800-827-1000 for more information.

If veterans receive their payments electronically, then payments are being deposited into your bank account. If these accounts are not accessible or are received by mail, then veterans need to visit their regional office, either in Houston, Waco or at the Dallas VAMC.

The Dallas VAMC is located at 4500 South Lancaster Road; Dallas, TX 75216.

For veteran's benefits and eligibility questions, call toll-free to1-877-222-VETS (1-877-222-8387) or visit the Veterans Integrated Service Network website at www.visn16.med.va.gov.

WIC:
Texas has approximately 700 WIC clinics. Evacuees can call toll-free 1-800-942-3678 for local WIC clinic locations. This will be for those who were receiving WIC benefits or hope to qualify.


FIFTH DISTRICT SHELTERS

Anderson County:

Emergency Management Coordinator
903-723-7812 or 903-922-0695

Cherokee County:

903-683-2324

Dallas County:

Dallas: http://www.dallascityhall.org/dallas/eng/html/katrina.html
Dallas Convention Center: 650 S. Griffin Street; Dallas, TX 75220
Reunion Arena: 777 Sports Street; Dallas, TX 75207
Garland: http://www.cityofmesquite.com/katrina.php

Henderson County:

www.vanzandtcounty.org

Wood County:

Tyler Red Cross
903-581-7981

Pets:
The City of Dallas has setup facilities at Reunion Arena to house the dogs and cats of those who are seeking refuge at Reunion Arena. Temporary dog runs and cat condos are setup to allow people displaced by Katrina the ability to keep their pets and care for them instead of relinquishing them to a shelter. The City of Dallas will provide pet owners with essentials such as pet food, bowls, cat boxes & scoops (dog and cat), litter, leashes, etc.

Individuals who learn of stranded pets are urged to call the Humane Society phone bank at 1-800-HUMANE-1 (1-800-486-2631), provided they have location information that can be relayed to the teams in the field. Thousands of concerned citizens have also donated to the relief effort by visiting

SPCA of Texas: in Dallas at 214-651-9611, in McKinney at 972-562-7297; www.spca.org


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