The Katrina Aftermath, one year later–a ministry’s response.

By August 29, 2006

USA (MNN)–Floodmarks test the resolve for Gulf Coast residents today, on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s fury. Rubble and mould still greet returning residents as they continue the painstaking rebuild.

It’s a story that has slipped out of the minds of many who haven’t been direcly affected. City Team Ministries’ Carol Patterson says, in her opinion, most Americans think that these people are taken care of, “They got that FEMA trailer, aren’t they okay now?”

According to Patterson, the answer is ‘no’, adding, “Many of the homes are concrete slabs.” Many of the families who lost their homes to the hurricane and subsequent floods had no other resources to draw from–or were unable to rebuild when their claims were rejected by insurance companies.

Today, of the hundreds of thousands evacuated out of the Gulf, hundreds of thousands are still on the move. Nomadic now, these refugees are looking for a place to call home, a place to work, a place to get back to the business of raising their families.

City Team is trying to help make that a reality for not only those people, but also refugees who want to come home.

They set up in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, operating out of a baseball field. “We do multiple services for the city there,” explains Patterson, “…from distribution center to taking food door-to-door, counseling, case management, recovery, A-A meetings, and rebuilding over 130 homes.”

Many of the people, including children, show signs of distress. Patterson, again: “We have seen doors open in Bay St. Louis, and we’ve seen our volunteers’ lives change when they come home and how they spread God’s love and Good news to wherever they’re coming home to. So, I think that God’s fingerprints are all over this.”

And the community? Bay St. Louis Mayor Eddie Favre says, “Bay Saint Louis would not be a functioning community without this partnership with CityTeam. Their leaders recognize and meet our needs with a clarity that locals do not have yet.”

He goes on to say, “CityTeam has helped us survive, literally, and we will be forever grateful and will always remember their impact on our lives for many generations to come.”

Over 600 volunteers have made this impact a reality in outreach. If you want to help, click here.

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