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CSBG IM No. 90 Hurricane Katrina

Published: September 2, 2005
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG)
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Information Memorandums (IM)


Transmittal No. 90

Date: September 2, 2005






Community Services Block Grant Program Administrators, Regional and State Community Action Association Officials and Community Action Agency Officials



Hurricane Katrina



We have all been moved by the tragedy which has befallen Americans living along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and many of us have wanted to find some way to assist those whose lives have been so dramatically disrupted. From a community perspective, the Community Services Network is uniquely positioned to reach out to many of these families and help ease some of their suffering, particularly those CAAs who have facilities and can provide services for these families. If you have not done so already, we urge you to begin taking immediate steps to join the national relief effort targeted at these families.

Specifically, we are asking all community action grantees, particularly those in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee to open your doors to those displaced families who have sought refuge in your community and to seek new ways to support individuals, families and children impacted by this disaster.

Community action programs are encouraged, for example, to provide services to any displaced individuals, families and children who are now living in your community. Community action agencies are further encouraged to open your doors to refugee families and extend to them available facilities, including kitchens, bed space and showers. In addition, we encourage grantees and program directors to make themselves and their relationships in the community available to support other Federal, state, and local relief efforts.

You may wish to begin this task by conducting a quick inventory of the services and resources you currently have and asking yourself how they might be deployed to assist victims of this disaster. Please look particularly to physical resources (room space and facilities) and professional assets (physicians, social workers, mental health personnel, community workers) that might be of use.

CSBG funds may be used flexibly to cover the expanded services. Declarations of eligibility at state option will suffice, particularly since many persons will be without identification and verifying materials. National and regional staff will be available to you to help coordinate services among the ACF programs in your state as well as the Federal, state and local entities with which you partner.

We are here to empower you as you take part in one of the most critical human services relief efforts in our Nation’s history. Please let us know how we can support your work to assist those in need. Please contact your ACF program specialist to discuss your agency’s participation in this effort.


Wade F. Horn, Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary for
Children and Families