United Jewish Communities Present $275,000 Grant to Mental Health Association of Mississippi
Hurricane Katrina Relief Continues
From News Release Filed 6/28/06 GCN
"Since the most horrific days of Hurricane Katrina, the Jewish federation system has reached out to those in need in both the Jewish and general communities," said Carol Smokler, UJC Emergency Committee Chair. "Whether delivering emergency aid in the storm's aftermath or helping affected communities continue to provide social services, we have been there." The grant to the MHAMS, she added, "reflects our confidence that, despite having endured the unimaginable, communities are rebuilding and looking forward, not only to survive but to thrive.”
According to the MHAMS, 100 percent of the population in the six-county Mississippi Gulf Coast region was affected psychologically or emotionally from Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The grant will be used to enhance MHAMS’s capacity to serve more residents in the region, to address their short- and long-term mental health needs, and to further train local staff and local service providers.
“There are many people in this community who greatly depend on us,” said Brandi Clarke, MHAMS executive director. “They have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina with the loss of family members, friends, homes, businesses, and lifestyles. They are in need of emotional support, services and care so they can reclaim the lives they had before the storm. “This grant will help us serve more people through counseling, case management and training and education programs,” she continued. “It will help untold numbers of people, and we are grateful to United Jewish Communities and the Jewish community in general for recognizing the priority of these needs.”UJC and the Jewish federations throughout North America have so far raised approximately $28 million for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and projects in the general and Jewish communities. The grant made today is part of $1.6 million targeted by UJC, in partnership with UJA-Federation of New York, for mental health and trauma relief services in the Gulf region.
Among those working alongside UJC and the federations to help storm victims are: the Jewish Funders Network; the American Jewish Committee; B'nai B'rith; the Jewish Council for Public Affairs; the Association of Jewish & Family Children’s Agencies; the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; the International Association of Jewish Vocational Services; the JCCs of North America; the Jewish Education Service of North America; the Jewish Fund for Justice; the American Jewish World Service; Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger; Hadassah; Hillel: the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life; CLAL - the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership; the Orthodox Union; the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism; the Union for Reform Judaism; Chabad; and the Jewish Agency for Israel.