Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina fell on the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, leveling homes and changing lives forever. As families and individuals were displaced to Southern California, the Orange County Rescue Mission jumped into action to provide emergency relief and aid for those in need.
I wanted to share some photos where the Village of Hope was able to serve as a base for emergency responders as we launched the services of Operation OC, the Rescue Mission’s initiative to serve in emergency relief.
Hurricane Katrina initiated a need and with our state of the art facility, we were able to serve. The Orange County Rescue Mission continues to serve individuals and families in their own personal crises, where we host the services of Operation OC for larger scale emergencies to serve our community. OperationOC supports the Orange County Operational Area by coordinating community based organizations, government agencies, faith based organizations, and the private business sector to build, sustain, and improve the capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a threatened or actual natural disaster, acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters.
In 2005, More than 1,000 hurricane evacuees came to the Orange County area after their homes and livelihoods were destroyed, many because of extended family in the area. It was with this in mind that the Orange County Rescue Mission established OperationOC, a collaborative private/public response to the devastation racked upon our Gulf Coast neighbors now coming into our community to rebuild their lives.
Countless victims were left displaced, unemployed, homeless, hungry, destitute and worst of all, hopeless. The first challenge for OperationOC was to anticipate the needs and services required to address the complex issues related to disaster recovery. Their immediate needs upon arrival in Orange County were of the most basic level; emergency assistance with such survival necessities as food, clothing, and shelter. As time progressed, needs emerged for self-sufficiency focused services to help families and individuals rebuild their lives, such as housing deposit assistance, educational training and childcare.
Once they came to OperationOC, evacuees would have their immediate and long-term needs assessed and, based on this assessment would continue to receive services through the Drop-In Center, Kingston Graduated Rental Assistance Program or Strong Beginnings Case Management Model. A drop-in resource center was established at Orange County Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope in the City of Tustin. Here, evacuees could find representatives from various community agencies to assist them based on their individual or familial situation. This one-stop center also included a clothing room where evacuees could “shop” for new and used clothing items, as well as a food truck that supplied much needed pantry items.
Before and after photos of evacuee’s homes:
19 13 9 1Evacuee Families: