United Way to invest $1 million in long-term recovery groups

September 29, 2021

Funds will support rebuilding efforts across areas affected by Hurricane Ida

NEW ORLEANS – On the one-month anniversary of Hurricane Ida's landfall, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) announced Wednesday a $1-million investment in local rebuilding efforts via long-term recovery groups (LTRG) serving Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes.

Each LTRG – a collaboration of nonprofit, government, faith-based, business and other organizations – works within its respective communities to help households recover from the effects of Ida.

"The race is on to begin long-term rebuilding across Southeast Louisiana, and while the organizing work is already underway, families are struggling to survive in appalling conditions without the resources necessary to make any progress," said Michael Williamson, UWSELA president and CEO. "United Way is banding together with our local partners to start the recovery process, and we're taking the first step by making foundational funding available. We hope others will join us in this commitment to our communities."

After Hurricane Katrina, UWSELA played a critical role in local LTRGs, helping convene and organize, avoid duplicative efforts, and serve the community's unmet needs. In the wake of Ida, UWSELA will do much of the same, working in concert with partners to support and/or reestablish LTRGs in its seven-parish service area with the assistance of UWSELA's new long-term recovery staff specialist.

Each parish's group will reflect the unique nature of its communities while maintaining a shared goal: Identifying local disparities and providing unmet needs. As the LTRGs identify disparities, UWSELA will leverage its collaborative expertise to bring relevant service partners to the table to close gaps in service, ensuring quality health, education, and economic opportunity for all.

UWSELA is also prepared to deploy its Prosperity Center services, offering an array of expert financial capability education, counseling, coaching and resources to help families regain stability and be better prepared for the next disaster.

In addition to financial support, UWSELA understands the federal government's critical role in supporting long-term recovery efforts. The organization’s public policy team is developing an aggressive agenda with requests for congressional earmark funding to support recovery and rebuilding needs in local communities.

"We've seen firsthand how the lack of federal aid has hindered, and in many cases, halted our neighbors' recovery in Southwest Louisiana following the catastrophic storms of 2020," said Charmaine Caccioppi, UWSELA EVP and chief operating officer. "To double-down on our chances for success, we will work in lockstep with our family of Louisiana United Ways, rallying our collective voices to secure support for every impacted community in our state."

Hurricane Ida Relief Fund Progress

One month after the storm, UWSELA’s immediate relief efforts include:

  • Released over $600,000 in funds to provide immediate resources, including supplies, financial and legal assistance.
  • Hosted 17 relief pop-ups which provided 10,500 meals from local restaurants and 2,700 gift cards to support over 6,800 families.
  • Shifted programmatic grant funding to partners in need of additional support to address relief and rebuilding needs.
  • Delivered over $250,000 and counting in mitigation supplies to hard-hit areas.
  • Mobilized volunteers through the United Way HandsOn Entergy Volunteer Center to complete 1,072 hours of service, generating over $23,000 in community savings.

To learn more about UWSELA's Ida relief and recovery work or make a gift, visit UnitedWaySELA.org/IdaRelief.



About United Way of Southeast Louisiana
For almost 100 years, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives and making a lasting difference. We fight to eradicate poverty by preparing people for quality jobs, growing incomes, and affording better health and education opportunities throughout Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. We have a bold vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable – and we have a plan. United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Blueprint for Prosperity guides all strategic investments in programs, initiatives, collaborations, volunteerism, and advocacy aimed at tackling poverty. For more information, please visit UnitedWaySELA.org. Find us on social: @UnitedWaySELA.