Rebuilding for All Post-Katrina
CEEJ- being a grassroots environmental justice (EJ) and social justice organization that is committed to and accountable to its community means being flexible and able to address real community concerns. When Hurricane Katrina wiped out entire sections of the Gulf Coast, the community of Biloxi was in critical need. CEEJ answered the call. Soon after the storms, Center for Environmental and Economic Justice in partnership with Faith Tabernacle of Praise swung into action, delivering aid: clothing, water, baby supplies. A production line of volunteers assembled boxes of supplies and delivered them to people who couldn't make it to the Red Cross center. CEEJ also served as a walk-in center for supplies.
Within days of Hurricane Katrina CEEJ organized resources for the community.
Even while the hurricane caused damage to CEEJ*s office and infrastructure, its staff was, within days of the hurricane, working from their homes to organize resources for their community. Our knowledge of the community and the relationship that we*ve built over the years allowed us to reach the people who were most in need- the poor, whose needs were being overlooked by all other agencies. Within a week of the devastation, (While federal agencies were still figuring out how to respond to the devastation) CEEJ had set up a Community Stabilization and Redevelopment Project. CEEJ was offering a call-in and walk-in center that had become a resource clearing house for displaced, jobless, and homeless community members. Staff and volunteers were providing local transportation to its community members, something many of them did not have access to even before the storm. CEEJ accepted truck loads (from Michigan and surrounding states) of cleaning supplies (bleach, etc.), tools, clothing, and food. CEEJ provided assistance in finding jobs, drafting resumes, and in a partnership with the Biloxi Branch NAACP supported the application process and distribution for aid vouchers.