ORLANDO , Fla. -- A "One-Stop Joint Assistance Center" opens Monday, Sept. 19 at the Town and Country Plaza in Pensacola to offer recovery information for hurricane victims and evacuees, according to officials from the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) and the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency. The assistance center will provide similar services to those offered at FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Centers.
"We've brought together people from various state, local and federal agencies, along with voluntary organizations, to provide Katrina evacuees with one place to get information," said Larry Koslick, SERT recovery manager. "People's lives have been disrupted and we want to help make the recovery process as smooth as possible for them here in Florida ."
The assistance center will offer Hurricane Katrina and Dennis victims information about federal disaster assistance, temporary housing, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), disaster unemployment assistance and other state and federal programs. People can talk with voluntary organizations about available help in the area. Crisis counseling and child care are available.
"Close to 20,000 people have gotten help at disaster recovery centers in the area where Hurricane Dennis did its damage," said Scott R. Morris, FEMA's director of Florida Long Term Recovery. "People are in place to offer that same help to those who evacuated to the Pensacola area in Katrina's wake."
The One-Stop Joint Assistance Center is located at Town and Country Plaza , 3300 North Pace Blvd, Suite 245 , Pensacola . Business hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
One Disaster Recovery Center located in Gulf Breeze closed Saturday, Sept. 17. Another, located at 33 Brent Lane in Pensacola ended operations at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18.
In addition the following Disaster Recovery Centers continue services; hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, until further notice.
- Okaloosa County : CVS Pharmacy, 348 Racetrack Road , Ft. Walton Beach
- Santa Rosa County : County Administrator Office Building , 6495 Caroline Street , Milton