Texas Interfaith Disaster Response Helps Resettle Katrina Evacuees

October 25, 2005

Source: Disaster News Network


On October 25, 2005 the Disaster News Network reported, "'Resettlement is a long process,' said Amy Elder, co-coordinator of the newly-formed Texas Interfaith Disaster Response (TIDR) in Austin. 'I really believe the hardest work is yet to come.' Elder volunteered to help lead the interfaith group at a recent meeting of the central Texas chapter of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). TIDR is focusing on multiple issues with the resettlement, with much of the work being matching needs with resources. Elder said they are working closely with many other recovery groups, such as churches, several local synagogues, the Austin Muslim community, the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), city agencies and even some local businesses... Elder noted that TIDR has been involved 'in a little bit of everything' since they started up, including helping get chaplains on the floor of the Austin convention center during Hurricane Rita and finding jobs for the new Austin residents. Some TIDR members are even helping the new Austin residents get around town, as some were placed in apartments too far away from public transportation. Helping people pay utilities is another facet of TIDR's response... [Elder explained,] 'Not all evacuees are Christians - and we have had in this effort the Jewish community, the Muslim community - everybody. On the convention floor we had Quakers, Baha'i, evangelicals, liberals and more. These new folks are being welcomed and invited into the various faith communities. Finding a church or faith home helps get people into the community.'"