LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- By now, most Katrina evacuees in Arkansas have taken the first step of registering with FEMA for assistance. Those who haven't, should--either online at www.fema.gov , or by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) .
In Arkansas , the actual delivery of services is being handled by state or local agencies. Under the Arkansas emergency declaration, FEMA will reimburse these agencies for providing emergency-related housing, transportation, and personnel related to Hurricane Katrina. Listed below are some of the services available to Katrina evacuees in Arkansas :
The American Red Cross provides emergency shelter to any victims of a declared disaster. Because of the catastrophic nature of Katrina and the large number of people displaced, the Red Cross is able to provide temporary housing vouchers to Katrina evacuees. To register call 1-800-975-7585 . In cooperation with FEMA, the Red Cross can extend temporary housing assistance for Katrina evacuees every 30 days until other options are available. Contact the Red Cross directly to receive reimbursement for emergency housing or to request a housing extension.
- The Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) is coordinating interim housing assistance programs for Katrina evacuees in Arkansas . ADFA is working to find and furnish apartments for evacuees. Evacuees should call 501-682-5900 to be directed to the local housing authority office.
- HUD , the federal Housing and Urban Development department, will provide housing vouchers to evacuees who were previously in HUD-assisted housing programs or are homeless as a result of Katrina but are otherwise ineligible for FEMA assistance. ADFA manages HUD housing programs in Arkansas . HUD has waived some of its requirements and provided for self-certification of income to quickly place hurricane-impacted families in appropriate housing.
- FEMA is expediting the assistance to Katrina evacuees from selected areas in Louisiana and Mississippi through its individuals and households program which provides previous homeowners and renters with housing assistance. Eligible households will receive an initial lump sum rental assistance payment of $2,358 to cover three months of housing needs. Rental assistance will be extended for qualifying evacuees up to 18 months. Because rental assistance is being delivered in an expedited fashion, it may be necessary to adjust payments after the first three months. The expedited housing assistance is available to Katrina evacuees from the following areas:
- In Louisiana : Orleans , Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Charles and Plaquemines Parishes.
- In Mississippi : Jackson , Harrison and Hancock Counties .
Through these programs, displaced families from Hurricane Katrina will have the opportunity to relocate to cities and towns of their choice where the housing availability and job markets meet their immediate needs.
Evacuees who lived through Hurricane Katrina sometimes just need to talk. Individuals and families who need help can get free counseling at any of three 24-hour toll-free helplines, funded by FEMA:
The State of Arkansas has established a call center to assist Katrina evacuees that have relocated to Arkansas . The Katrina Assistance Relief Effort (KARE) has assembled numerous state and local resources to help meet essential needs. KARE can...