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United Way Blog

Five Years After the Hurricanes

August 29th marked five years since Hurricane Katrina hit. United Way is part of the community – there long before a catastrophe strikes and long after first responders have moved on. Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States, and all of us, whether we had a personal connection to the area or not, felt a powerful responsibility to help.

United Way’s No Place Like Home campaign is working to help more than 500 families still living in “temporary” FEMA trailers move into permanent housing. So far, over 10,000 people have signed No Place Like Home’s pledge to rebuild New Orleans, and 400 families have moved back into permanent homes.

On this fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we invite you to join us. Rebuilding the Gulf has taken a tremendous effort, but together we can finish the job. You can give, so families can finally leave the temporary FEMA trailers and return to the communities they love. You can advocate by adding your voice to the No Place Like Home campaign. And you can volunteer to rebuild a home.

Back in 2005, as the magnitude of the disaster became apparent, United Ways in New Orleans, the Gulf Coast and across the country mobilized to help.

rebuilding the gulfUnited Way’s 2-1-1 became the designated number to dial for all social services in Louisiana. At its peak, 2-1-1 was responding to 7,000 calls per day, helping those affected by the disaster find shelter locations, food stations, volunteer referrals and donation information.

United Ways in the area provided relief and rebuilding assistance, while those that received large numbers of evacuees helped them to rebuild their lives, whether they chose to settle there temporarily or became permanent residents.

Five years later, empowered by our supporters, we’re is still working to rebuild the Gulf Coast, ensuring these communities stand on a solid foundation for the future. We won’t stop until everyone has access to the building blocks of a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, a steady income that supports a family, and good health.

We’re recruiting individuals and institutions from all across the country who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done.

Since 2006, more than 1,000 young people have participated in United Way’s Alternative Spring Break, spending their spring vacation rebuilding the Gulf Coast and returning to their communities as passionate advocates for this work.

We all have a stake in creating a healthy, prosperous community. And we all have a stake in ensuring that the Gulf Coast is rebuilt stronger than it was five years ago.