Bishop Jenkins, Many thanks. Your response is very helpful. I am sharing it with the members of Executive Council and with participants in the Bishops-Deputies discussion. I rejoice in your partnership with ERD. Merry Christmas in advance! Louie Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., 12D, E. Orange, NJ 07018. 973-395-1068 http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew -----Original Message----- > From: Bishop Jenkins [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Friday, December 23, 2005 10:27 AM To: 'Louie Crew' Subject: RE: Please help me promote ERD's efforts in Louisiana Dr. Crew, I hope you were able to see my preliminary reply yesterday. Our New Orleans offices remain closed and we are working through the server at St. James' Church, Baton Rouge. We remain challenged in technology. I have been unable to send messages this morning; I pray this one goes through for I am excited about the partnership between ERD and the Diocese of Louisiana. My experience with ERD has been fantastic! Dr. Radtke stepped way outside his comfort zone and came down here right after Katrina. He brought with him several New Yorkers experienced in disaster relief from 9/11. They were a great help to us in those terrible early days. I think I would describe the relationship with ERD as an equal partnership between the Diocese and ERD. It is a happy relationship. ERD and the Diocese have worked together to develop a mission of how we shall serve the poor and needy in Louisiana. As I hope you heard me say earlier, ERD is committed to serving the poor and is not involved in Church rebuilding (physical structures), insurance shortfalls and the like. When in New Orleans, which is where I am today, I must work from my home. The budget that ERD has given us for 2006 is in the Baton Rouge office so I must work from memory. The total ERD budget in Louisiana for 2006 is around $3.1 million. ERD and our Diocesan Office of Disaster Response (which is funded mostly by ERD money) have entered into a relationship with an African American Church affinity group called Grace Community Services. We do not need a bunch of uptown folks going into the 9th ward, for example, telling folks what they need and what they ought to be doing! Therefore, Grace Community Services will provide 7 (I think) case workers from the communities who will be in the impacted communities helping folks in the short term with FEMA issues, providing direct assistance (grants), medical care, and mental health services. We hope to have 5000 or so families in a case management relationship with the Church through ERD/ODR. ERD has provided a huge sum of money for direct grants through these caseworkers. I am sorry that I cannot be more specific at this time but will gladly provide more specifics when I have the budget before me. By the way, the ERD/ODR budget, formed in partnership with Louisiana, is approved by the ERD Board and will be administered by an ERD funded controller. FEMA has asked us to work in St. James' Parish (the civil parish, not the ecclesiastical parish) where we are told there are 26,000 displaced persons and where FEMA has little or no presence. ERD/ODR plans to open at least four "compassion centers" to which people may come for help, assistance, respite, supplies and food. These compassion centers will likely be in Episcopal Churches that were flooded. Dr. Courtney Cowart of GTS and lately of St. Paul's Chapel, is now on site thanks to ERD and she will put these compassion centers in place. There will be at least two mobile "compassion centers", again done through ERD, which will roll into neighborhoods where there are no buildings to use. One of these is even now in place and has been in the 9th Ward of New Orleans for nearly two weeks now. We provide a warm place, food, cleaning supplies, clean water, personal hygiene kits, telephone, bibles, and a caring heart and receptive ear. The second of these mobile centers is an ecumenical effort with the Roman Catholics in Austin, Texas, called Mobile Loaves and Fishes. It will begin rolling in Jaunary, 2006. We will be taking hot meals into neighborhoods where people are rebuilding. We will be in the FEMA trailer parks (if allowed). These units will also have mental health folks aboard to help and listen. In the longer term, we hope that our case workers will address issues like parenting skills, literacy, access to health care (our Charity Hospital system in Louisiana is gone and we do not know what to do at this time), assistance with rebuilding and the like. For the first time, ERD has entered into a capital project in the United States. As you know, in a city 80% flooded, housing is at a premium. ERD has provided money for a down payment on a large house adjacent to the Cathedral and Diocesan Offices. The old house was a B&B called the Glimmer Inn. Into that building, we hope to put accommodations for volunteers, the offices of Hope Credit Union, offices for our caseworkers and the like. Hope Credit Union is a faith-based credit union brought to New Orleans by Trinity Church of this city. It provides lost cost loans to high-risk persons. Of particular interest are loans for business start-ups. This is in line with the UN goals around micro economic development. This seems to be the most visionary task that ERD/ODR will undertake and is heavily funded by ERD. I have asked Bishops around the Church to help with this by making deposits in Hope Credit Union. Mississippi has the capacity now to house 1,000 volunteers per day. Louisiana has the capacity to house 42 volunteers per day. The Glimmer Inn, and perhaps even our compassion centers if we can move into school gyms, will greatly increase our ability to enable the ministry of others. Do we need volunteers? Yes, indeed. The task of gutting homes, clean up, and rebuilding will go on for a long time. This is especially difficult for the poor and elderly. It is our hope that our caseworkers will help us direct volunteer labor and skills to those who would not have it otherwise. You might wonder what we have been doing? We have had distribution centers open in New Orleans (the Cathedral was seeing about 1,000 people per day at the peak of the need in this neighborhood) and Slidell. The mobile center has been in Lakeview, Broadmoor and is now in the just opened lower 9th. We have been in the evacuation shelters, and at the morgue in St. Gabriel, Louisiana. We are operating a food service at St. George's Church in New Orleans. Our ministry opportunities continue to unfold before us. I am proud to be associated with ERD. I would be glad to host you and others from the Executive Council if you would like to come down and see "what has happened down here" and learn how the Church, through ERD and the Diocese, responds. I am humbled by it all and proud of our efforts. Folks down here know that the Episcopal Church is the "go to" place for a response to need. Please keep us in your prayers and I hope you will continue to support ERD. They are stars in my estimation. You will note that both Bishop Gray and I are trying to raise money for Diocesan Rebuilding. These efforts are separate and apart from the ERD work. We have many "church" needs to which ERD cannot rightly respond. Thank you for your leadership and concern. A holy Christmas to you, Charles Jenkins _____ > From: Louie Crew [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2005 11:46 AM To: Rt. Rev. Charles Jenkins Subject: FW: Please help me promote ERD's efforts in Louisiana Gentle Bishop Jenkins, Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> bounced. I hope this reaches you. Have a very Merry Christmas. Louie Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., 12D, E. Orange, NJ 07018. 973-395-1068 http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew -----Original Message----- > From: Louie Crew [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 9:09 AM To: Rt. Rev. Charles Jenkins Subject: Please help me promote ERD's efforts in Louisiana Gentle Bishop Jenkins, Dr. Robert Radtke spoke to Executive Council in Las Vegas regarding ERD's response to Katrina. I asked him to share details of how ERD is honoring Jesus' priority for the poor in its efforts in Louisiana. He responded that ERD's priorities in a given place are always guided by the local diocesan bishop. I realize that you have headaches aplenty in the huge demands now made on your time. I do not wish to add to them, but would appreciate any details you might share of the priority that you are giving to the poor. That information would help me in my continuing support and promotion of ERD. You may well have already clarified your priorities, and I would appreciate your pointing me to it. Your diocesan website reports your mobile ministry in the Ninth Ward. I rejoice in that. Any similar details would be quite helpful. For example, one news account reported that prior to Katrina few white funeral directors in New Orleans would bury black people but that after Katrina most of the government money to bury blacks went to white funeral directors. Is there any truth to that report? Similar reports have said that black contractors have been cut out of any significant share of the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans. Is there any truth to that? Have ERD funds given any priority to black contractors? Most of the insured in New Orleans were white. Many of the blacks could not afford to leave and died. Other blacks who managed to survive and leave, do not have the funds to return. Have any of the ERD funds given priority to those most vulnerable? What percentage of the diocesan effort is spent on church buildings, what percentage on people? May God continue to use you as a blessing to absolutely everybody. Louie Louie Crew Chair of the Newark Deputation. Member of Executive Council.
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