Thursday, November 15, 2012
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – AmeriCorps St. Louis, an emergency response team that assisted with Hurricane Isaac relief efforts in St. John the Baptist Parish since early September, transferred volunteer recovery duties to the community upon its departure on Friday, November 9.
Members of AmeriCorps St. Louis, together with Texas Conversation Corps, Rocky Mountain Youth Works, and Iowa DNR AmeriCorps members established and managed a Volunteer Reception Center in LaPlace (which operated Homeowner Assistance and Volunteer Hotlines), documented volunteer hours, collaborated with the St. John Long Term Recovery Group and assisted with volunteer preparation and supervision.
Before departing St. John Parish, the AmeriCorps team processed 821 homeowner requests for assistance. Requests through the Homeowner Assistance Hotlines are met with referrals to case management and matched with qualified volunteer agencies to provide the needed services. Types of services provided by volunteer agencies include: gutting homes, tree work, repairing fences or other household items, painting, moving items into storage, temporary roof repairs, installing insulation, hanging sheetrock and mold remediation. The Volunteer Reception Center engaged 449 volunteers and completed over 7,000 volunteer hours. The AmeriCorps team trained community volunteers to continue the volunteer management and homeowner assistance operations before their departure.
“After serving two months in St. John Parish, we are handing off volunteer operations to the local community. The Volunteer Reception Center was set up with a previously tested and extremely successful system that is being left in very capable hands. Long-term recovery following a hurricane is improved by simply having a collaborating long-term recovery group with great participation and resources. This puts St. John Parish way ahead of other communities served by AmeriCorps St. Louis,” said team leader, Abigail Simons. Parish President Robottom and her staff thanked the AmeriCorps St. Louis team members and presented them with a key to the parish and a plaque in appreciation for their service.
St. John Homeowners in need of assistance are asked to contact the Homeowner Assistance Hotline at 985-359-0254; M-F, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Organizations or individuals interested in volunteering should contact the Volunteer Assistance Hotline at 985-359-1024 or visit the VRC at 1933 W. Airline Hwy. in LaPlace. The multi-agency warehouse, located at 1929 W. Airline Hwy, is accepting donations including construction materials and tools to facilitate long-term recovery efforts. Anyone interested in donating supplies and/or materials should contact the Volunteer Assistance Hotline at 985-359-1024. Monetary donations can be made to St. John United Way (designate for SJBP Long Term Recovery Group), P. O. Box 2019, Reserve, LA 70084; or “Hurricane Isaac Recovery Fund”, First National Bank, 377 Belle Terre Blvd., LaPlace, LA 70068, www.hurricaneisaacrecoveryfund.com.
Information on St. John the Baptist Parish recovery will continue to be released through the SJBP LTRG. Additional information can be viewed at www.stjohnrecovery.com.