Catholic Charities USA Reports Major Assistance Being Provided in Gulf Coast Areas

Close to 10,000 Families and Individuals Helped to Date; Need Expected to Grow Substantially

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the Gulf oil spill continues unabated, Catholic Charities agencies along the Gulf Coast are serving thousands of people and families who have felt the effects of the economic impact almost overnight.

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Food, household supplies and clothing have been the primary needs to date, but increasingly Catholic Charities' disaster response and case management services are focusing on employment assistance,  anger and stress management,  and crisis counseling.    

"Livelihoods and ways of life have been halted just like that, with very little recourse for other options to generate any income to pay the bills and put food on the table," said Rev. Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA.  "While homes and other personal property have not been destroyed by rising waters or raging fires, nonetheless the economic toll is equally immediate and devastating."

Catholic Charities initial assessment of the situation indicates long-term impact with growing need for  case management services.   Success in stopping the oil spill will not result in an immediate economic turn-around. While much initial response has been centered with Catholic Charities of New Orleans and the $1 million grant it received from BP, other Catholic Charities agencies along the coast in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are either already serving many in need or prepared with plans to serve populations that may be impacted in coming days or weeks.  

"As we all know all too well, this part of our country has been rising out of earlier disaster," added Fr. Snyder.  "We must meet this present disaster head-on and quickly address the need so that we avert any prolonged impact across the region."    

Catholic Charities USA's members—more than 1,700 local Catholic Charities agencies and institutions nationwide—provide help and create hope for nearly 9 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. For almost 300 years, Catholic Charities agencies have worked to reduce poverty by providing a myriad of vital services in their communities, ranging from health care and job training to food and housing. In 2010, Catholic Charities USA celebrates its centennial anniversary. For more information, visit www.CatholicCharitiesUSA.org.

SOURCE Catholic Charities USA



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