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ERD commemorates the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina


On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina, a powerful Category 4 storm, slammed onto the Gulf Coast forever changing the lives of people in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) recognizes the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina August 29, 2007.

ERD and its partners have been active in the Gulf Coast through three- to five-year long-term recovery programs that focus on rebuilding homes and small businesses, providing case management services, creating a framework for medical and volunteer services, and offering psychosocial counseling for people affected by Katrina. To learn more about ERD’s programs in the Gulf Coast, visit the Katrina Recovery Center here.

A place to call home: Avon Marie Dennis’ story
Along the Gulf Coast, more than 270,000 homes were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. In Louisiana, ERD partnered with the Diocese of Louisiana and Whitney Community Bank to create the Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative. The program plans to construct 500 affordable homes during the next five to seven years.

Avon Marie Dennis became Jericho Road’s first homeowner after paying rent for more than 50 years. After Hurricane Katrina, Dennis never imagined that she could ever afford to own a home of her own. Upon submitting an application with Jericho Road, Dennis took two homeowners education classes and was impressed by Jericho Road’s program and staff. She describes her new home as “beautiful” and that “without Jericho Road, I would be renting.”

“Episcopal Relief and Development is honored to participate in the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast. Having Ms. Dennis as Jericho Road’s first resident symbolizes hope for the future of Greater New Orleans,” said Robert W. Radtke, ERD president. “ERD and Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative aim to empower returning New Orleans residents with the benefits and advantages of home ownership.”

Brad Powers, Jericho Road’s executive director is happy to welcome Dennis to the neighborhood and proud to be part of a program so important to individuals, families, and the City of New Orleans. “Many people think that they cannot afford to own a home,” said Powers. “They may have had trouble with buying a home in the past. We are helping people achieve the American dream.”

If you would like to help people affected by Hurricane Katrina and recent disasters such as the earthquake in Peru and Hurricane Dean, make a donation online at, or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief and Development, P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.


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