Published in our 2017 Annual Report.
On March 11, 2016, historic floods devastated the North Shore and surrounding areas. Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans (CCANO) case managers were on the ground offering crisis counseling, food, water and cleaning supplies as soon as the flood waters receded.
Long term, CCANO’s Disaster Case Management Program (DCMP) continued to work with individuals and families who were impacted by the flooding. Serving as a single point of contact, case managers help households return to a state of self-sufficiency by assisting families in identifying their unmet needs, presenting these needs to groups providing assistance to victims and coordinating with volunteer groups for home repairs.
Catholic Charities’ case managers also connect clients like Teresa to needed services, provide referrals to the appropriate agencies and access government benefits, mental health services, housing home repairs, transportation and other essential services.
On that March day, Teresa watched the local news and nervously waited for the water to rise around her house. Her subdivision was bordered by the Pearl River and Gum Bayou, an area notorious for flooding.
Teresa’s anxiety grew and she worried about getting to safety before the water got too high. Having lived through Hurricane Katrina and other floods, she knew to pack her van and get her pets, clothes and other belongings to high ground as soon as possible.
Teresa left her home and headed for a hotel, where she waited for the flood waters to
recede. When they did, the damage was extensive – four feet of water in the house and five in the garage. All of the exterior doors swelled and buckled. All of the appliances were damaged or destroyed. The wooden floors had buckled, and black mold quickly spread.
FEMA funding for hotel assistance was ending, and she hadn’t received funding from the insurance company to repair her home, so Teresa turned to Catholic Charities’ Disaster Case Management Program for help. She was desperately in need of a case manager to guide her through the recovery process.
Teresa and her CCANO case manager met with FEMA on July 18, 2016. Together they worked diligently to set recovery goals. However, after beginning repair work on her home, Teresa’s goals changed. Instead of continuing repairs, she decided to sell her home and purchase a new trailer.
Today, Teresa lives in her trailer in the same park as her daughter and granddaughter, and she couldn’t be happier! Teresa shared with her case manager that she’s thankful for the help she received and knows she couldn’t have recovered without the assistance of Catholic Charities.