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January 01 2006

Katrina Victims Recover Nearly $12 Million in Refunds, Financial Assistance and Grants Through Operation HOPE

Public-Private partnerships help “Restore HOPE” for 16,000 Hurricane survivors one year later

One year after the ’ most devastating hurricane season to date, HOPE Coalition America (HCA), a FEMA partner, has emerged as one of the nation’s most robust programs for providing free emergency financial information and recovery assistance.

  Assistance ranges from identifying grants, recovering lost documents and helping families to fill out their EITC form.

Milestones announced today include:

  • Assisted 4,324 families in receiving more than $6.5 million in EITC refunds – an average of more than $1,500 per family -- by ensuring that eligible taxpayers from all of the Katrina-impacted states are informed on their right to claim the EITC refund.
  • Delivered free tax advice, access to prior-year returns and other essential financial counseling and support for impacted individuals and families who continue to work through the lengthy recovery process.
  • Established ongoing emergency and financial literacy guidance for individuals in Louisiana and Mississippi with the help of funding from the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund and the Mississippi Development Authority.
  • Disbursed more than $500,000 in HOPE fund rebuilding grant. Provided financial guidance and assistance to over 16,000 individuals.
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  •   Produced a national PSA campaign with the support of the William J. Clinton Foundation, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Essence Magazine to bring much-needed attention to the EITC outreach program. The PSA was distributed nationally by both Premiere Radio Networks and Z Comm.

The initiative has also worked to help hurricane victims retrieve lost documents, defer mortgage payments, encourage families to rebuild stability by completing the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) and the Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide (PDPG), and has provided free financial recovery services to victims via a toll-free call center and field offices in Louisiana and Mississippi . The initiative has also collaborated with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Small Business Administration, U.S. Citizens Corps, a public education and outreach training and volunteer service, along with the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision, U.S. Department of the Treasury, National Council of Black Mayors, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the American Red Cross and numerous other government organizations and corporate sponsors.

   

This collaboration of corporations, organizations and government agencies has allowed many victims of the 2005 hurricanes to gain valuable resources to allow them to rebuild and normalize their families and homes.   

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