Catholic Charities Working to House Katrina Survivors

September 03, 2005

This Labor Day weekend Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington is working to resettle survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, has designated Catholic Charities to lead hurricane-relief resettlement efforts in the Archdiocese.

Meeting the long-term housing needs of hurricane survivors on their way to the Washington, DC area is the immediate priority for Catholic Charities. The group is looking for vacant apartment units that can be made available free-of-charge for at least 90 days. Up to 400 survivors of Hurricane Katrina may arrive at the D.C. Armory. And, other survivors are already making their way to the national capital area.

Catholic Charities is working with the 140 parishes of the Archdiocese of Washington and others in the community to find property owners or real-estate agents who can donate vacant housing units. These individuals are being asked to call Catholic Charities at 202-772-1212. Staff and volunteers will be answering this phone line between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. throughout the Labor Day weekend and beyond.

“The people of the Archdiocese of Washington are giving generously of their resources,” said Ed Orzechowski, President of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington. “It’s clear long-term housing is the most pressing and immediate need for hurricane survivors, and we are mobilizing all our resources to help meet that need,” Orzechowski added.

Parishes in the Archdiocese of Washington are also taking up a special collection for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts over the next three weekends, and Catholic schools are welcoming displaced students, offering free tuition, uniforms, supplies and books to those in financial need. To date, at least 27 students have registered in local Catholic schools, with more expected.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington responds to the needs of individuals and families in need in Washington, DC and surrounding Maryland counties. Annually, 120,000 people receive needed support related to housing, food, legal, physical and mental health, and other services. This support is delivered by 94 programs in 88 geographically diverse locations with nearly 6,000 staff and volunteers.

Michael Meneer
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
[email protected]