Hurricane Katrina Five Year Anniversary Highlights Ongoing Struggles

Photo by Matthew McDermott
Sharon gets a health exam from a nurse at the Coastal Family Health Center. Photo by Matthew McDermott

"Nobody else will take you if you don't have health insurance—they turn you down." Sharon, a cook in a seafood restaurant on the Gulf Coast, sums up the personal health care crisis for thousands of families in the region still affected by Hurricane Katrina. 

Since 2005, Sharon and her family, along with thousands of others from New Orleans, Louisiana to Biloxi, Mississippi, have struggled in the wake of the disaster. These same hard-working people also have faced the devastation of the financial crisis and the massive BP oil spill.

Fortunately Sharon, who suffers with high blood pressure and cholesterol, receives quality health care and medications from the AmeriCares-supported Coastal Family Health Center.  The Health Center is one of more than 200 clinics nationwide receiving AmeriCares deliveries of medicines and medical supplies.  As Sharon said, "without the clinic, I don't know what I would do?"

Since the first days of our Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, AmeriCares partnered with local organizations to provide health care, housing, support for community volunteer projects  and other unmet needs. Wherever we could make a difference—child immunization, dental care, day care—we have stepped forward to fill in the gaps in health care and social services.  

Most importantly, we continue to help men, women and children restore their health and their peace of mind. As long as we are needed, AmeriCares will continue to help people like Sharon, and countless others who had their lives swept away by the hurricane or seriously damaged by the man-made disasters that followed.

Thanks to a generous outpouring of charitable contributions from across the country, as well as the support of our corporate and foundation partners, AmeriCares was able to provide $11 million in medicines, medical supplies and other early disaster relief in the first year and then an additional $12.3 million has supported health care initiatives as well as construction and community projects to aid the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas on the long road to disaster recovery. Read more about our efforts.

Today, as long as there are people in need, in the United States and around the world, AmeriCares will continue to contribute medicines, medical supplies and humanitarian aid.