Help Available for Katrina Survivors Staying in Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/30/05

Help Available for Katrina Survivors Staying in Lubbock

270 Hurricane Katrina survivors are choosing to make Lubbock their permanent home and now they have new hope and new help. A new center in town will integrate Katrina survivors into our community. The message is "our work is not done."

Now that we've welcomed the survivors into our community, the Lubbock Hope and Help Center will try to ensure their success. Pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church, Wilburn Tanner, said at a press conference Friday, "The goal is to help these persons become functional citizens."

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Tanner has a new role in his community, as Chairman of the Hope and Help Center. The center will operate out of The Bridge Multipurpose Center in East Lubbock, connecting hurricane survivors with the resources they need thanks to a coalition of local churches, the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Tanner explains, "It's really because we need to make a difference in the lives of these people."

Red Cross Chairman Greg Bruce says, "This is just Lubbock being ahead of the curve. We didn't look to see if there were guidelines to do this, we took local donor money and said what can we do. This is the right thing to do." The Lubbock Red Cross committed to help with start-up costs to the tune of $10,000 before Katrina victims even left local shelters.

Lubbock Hope and Help will provide survivors Like Gilbert Celius, Clarissa Jones and Raymond Cockerham one central resource to get all their questions answered about employment, housing, education and other social services. The three have decided to stay in Lubbock. Clarissa says, "We're all ready to work. I cook. I grill cook." Raymond says he'll use the center "all the time," and Gilbert says, "I would love to do carpentry and roofing."

Gilbert, Clarissa and Raymond say Lubbock volunteers have really gone out of their way to help and the Hope and Help Center is a resource they'll definitely utilize as they begin to call Lubbock home.

The Lubbock Hope and Help Center will be open the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A kick off BBQ will take place next Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The center is located at 1301 Redbud Avenue.

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