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Red Cross Holds Recourse Fair for Hurricane Evacuees:

The Santa Monica chapter of the American Red Cross will stage a Client Resource Fair Thursday and Friday, October 6 and 7, for evacuees displaced by the recent hurricanes.

“This is an opportunity for our clients to learn about all of the different services our city agencies have to offer,” said Director of Family Services, Francisco Vidrio. “This fair will help the victims of the recent hurricanes by giving them information and resources on how to rebuild their lives.”

Attending will be Santa Monica state and government social service agencies that can assist with housing, medical and mental health, finance, employment, and transportation. For more information, contact the Family Services Department at (310) 395-4583 or (310) 451-9237.

The Santa Monica chapter has received offers of assistance from the public to help evacuees displaced by the recent hurricanes. “Our most prevalent needs are for long-term housing and employment opportunities for the families re-settling locally,” stated Eric Faber, Board member who is managing offers of assistance. Faber added that while the chapter is a conduit for offers of assistance, it will not be involved in making selections for clients.

“We have clients with a variety of skills,” he said. “Who urgently need job opportunities and housing assistance. The chapter will not be accepting any tangible items delivered to the site, but these offers can be made via e-mail or telephone.” To provide an offer of assistance, or to get further information, please e-mail offersofassistance @ redcrossofsantamonica.org, or call (310) 394-3773.

To date, the Santa Monica chapter of the Red Cross has served nearly 300 displaced persons, including families, couples, and individuals who have relocated to the Santa Monica area and have come to the Santa Monica chapter for aid and services. “The chapter has issued nearly $82,000 in direct financial aid to displaced persons for their immediate needs such as food, clothing, medicine, and hotel or motel expenses,” noted John Pacheco, Executive Director.

$948,000 had been contributed to hurricane relief through the Santa Monica chapter of the Red Cross as of Monday, October 3. Money raised locally goes to direct financial support, mental and medical health needs, and food and shelter for more than 721,000 families in 1150 Red Cross shelters and other lodging scattered across the nation.

Nationally, the American Red Cross has received approximately $1.125 billion in gifts and pledges to date, of which about $856 million has been collected. It is still estimated that $2 billion will be needed nationally for disaster relief in the months ahead.

Hurricane Katrina has affected 15 times as many people as all four of the 2004 hurricanes combined.

75 volunteers from Santa Monica have been called up to disaster relief sites, and the chapter has processed 1,090 new volunteers to date who have or are completing training to go to disaster areas to provide relief efforts in shelters and service centers.

To help acclimate the 65 children who have been relocated to Santa Monica, the chapter’s Youth Group began collecting school supplies and backpacks Saturday at a community event specifically aimed to help children displaced by the hurricanes. It will be collecting school supplies and backpacks at Santa Monica High School and Crossroads High School until October 14, 2005. The items already collected will be given to the children at the Client Resource Fair this Thursday and Friday. Any remaining supplies will be sent directly to displaced children returning to school in the Gulf Coast.Those needing assistance can drop by the American Red Cross of Santa Monica, 1450 11th Street (at Broadway), Santa Monica, CA 90401 or phone: (310) 394-3773. For the Hurricane information Hotline, call: (866) 733-5010.

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