Governor Edwards and his administration are doing everything possible to ensure Louisiana residents impacted by the historical flooding gets connected to the necessary resources to begin the road to recovery. Governor Edwards has announced that a total of 20 parishes have been declared a major disaster by the federal government. “We are working around the clock to get every available resource into the hands of people in our state. No one will be forgotten as we continue to assess the damage. I will continue to work with the federal government, as well as state, local, and federal partners, to make sure the resources we need are on the ground as soon as possible.” Please follow the governor’s office on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/louisianagov for updated information as it is available. For a list of available resources to help flood survivors, please visit the following link: http://gov.louisiana.gov/page/resources-for-flood-victims.
Governor John Bel Edwards announced several additional housing solutions for the thousands of Louisianans impacted by the historic flooding in the recent weeks. One of those solutions include the Shelter at Home Program, a program new to Louisiana that will allow people to shelter at their own home while they continue to rebuild. The additional housing solutions announced by Governor Edwards include The Manufactured Housing Units (MHUs) Program, The Multi-Family Lease and Repair (MFLRP) Program, and The Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) program. Please visit: http://gov.louisiana.gov for more information regarding the announced programs for housing. Governor Edwards has encouraged everyone impacted by the flooding disaster to register with FEMA at www.disasterassistance.gov. Housing resources may also be found on: www.lahousingsearch.org/ The Small Business Administration (SBA) will also make loans available for individuals and businesses that were damaged during the flooding. For more information please visit: www.sba.gov. Governor Edwards encourages everyone to explore these solutions and make the best decision for themselves and their families.
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is in the process of distributing Disaster Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits at centers in the parishes that are federally declared as disaster areas, please visit the DCFS Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/LADCFS/ for the dates, times, and locations. In preparation for the hurricane season or other disasters, DCFS encourages Louisiana residents to pre-register for the DSNAP program before a hurricane or other disaster because some individuals may not have access to the required paperwork following a disaster or evacuation. Individuals who are currently receiving SNAP benefits do not need to pre-register; benefits will be added automatically. DSNAP is only administered after a federally declared disaster, and after the state receives approval from the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services to activate services. To pre-register for DSNAP visit: www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/preregister.
The Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs (GODA) Bambi Polotzola, her staff, along with the staff of the Governor’s Office of Programs and Planning visited all of the registered shelters within the state to ensure that needs of persons with disabilities are being met. GODA will continue to make every effort to assist all persons effected by the flood by connecting them to available resources. Should you or someone you know need assistance, please call (225) 219-7550 or click http://emergency.la.gov to search for available resources.
The Louisiana Emergency Management Disability and Aging Coalition (EMDAC) has been aggressively working throughout the flood rescue and recovery. The mission of EMDAC is to advocate for and support emergency management efforts that serve all people in Louisiana, particularly people with disabilities and those who are aging. The goal of EMDAC is to serve as a collaborative resource, so that appropriate emergency management-related services and supports are equally accessible to people with disabilities those who are aging. GODA has participated in every EMDAC meeting and will continue to work with the coalition to help coordinate services for people with disabilities who are impacted by the flood.
Governor Edwards has signed a proclamation declaring September 11th-17th as Direct Support Professionals Week in the state of Louisiana. Direct support professionals are the primary providers of long-term services for millions of children and adults with disabilities. Direct Support Professionals Week is an opportunity to recognize the important work of those who ensure inclusive environments with equal access to all which contributes to community life for those with disabilities.