The Gulf Coast—and New Orleans, specifically—is far from recovered after being ravaged in 2005 by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Churches and faith-based organizations have responded to the humanitarian need with outstanding leadership, at tremendous cost. For example, despite the $104 million in unrecovered property losses following Hurricane Katrina, the Catholic archdiocese of New Orleans has committed $89 million for long-term hurricane recovery, according to its 2008 financial report.
* 850,000. Number of residents the New Orleans archdiocese has served since the hurricanes.
* 14,000. Number of New Orleans families who receive disaster housing rental assistance vouchers, which expire next March.
* 151,128,294. Pounds of food provided by the New Orleans archdiocese to individuals and faith-based and community nonprofits who feed the hungry.
* 15. Percentage of residents who say they’ve been diagnosed with a serious mental illness, up from 5 percent in 2006.
* 46. Percentage increase in rent paid by New Orleans residents since the hurricanes.
Sources: “Post-Katrina Financial Report 2008” (Archdiocese of New Orleans); “New Orleans Three Years After the Storm” (The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2008); “The New Orleans Index” (The Brookings Institution and Greater New Orleans Community Data Center); The New York Times.
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