Baton Rouge Housing Initiative
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The flooding in Louisiana was one of the worst natural disasters in the United States since Super storm Sandy in 2012. Alongside The Red Cross, The United Nations Chaplains Association supported the massive relief operation in Baton Rouge. The UNCA's goal was to restore a sense of normalcy to the community by returning families to their homes.
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) released data estimates over 140,000 homes in the metropolitan area were in flood areas and could have been affected. Livingston and East Baton Rouge parishes appear to have suffered the most damage. BRAC estimates more than $9 billion in damages to homes there. Businesses fared badly as well in the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes East Baton Rouge and eight surrounding parishes. BRAC also estimates 12,000 or 35% of all businesses in the region were adversely affected. This number directly affects over 136,000 workers.
With crisis-trained members readied, The UNCA was able to mobilize within 48 hours of assignment notification and connected with local agencies to identify areas of opportunity and structure to support Baton Rouge in Two Phases:
Phase One: From August 26, 2016, through October 31, 2016, BRHI focused on supporting local shelters with tangible goods to sustain residences during their transition. The United Nations Chaplains Association provided on the ground support in Red Cross managed shelters during Phase One.
Direct financial contributions were utilized for:
-Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
-Hygiene supplies and other comfort items
-Supplies needed for children and infants (such as diapers, formula, and toys)
-Special items for elderly and disabled family members
The UNCA also supported the feeding of over 400 displaced residents through the Sponsorship of Baton Rouge-based non-profit, Saint Vincent De Paul
Phase Two: From September 19, 2016, through September 28, 2016, the UNCA provided over 200 impacted, Windborne Elementary students with uniforms, book bags, and school supplies.
Phase Three: On November 1, 2016, the UNCA began its Social and Economic Redevelopment initiative to provide distressed communities with access to progressive technology, education, and economic opportunities.