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Charities Feel Stress Serving Residents, Evacuees

By: Toni Harrison
By: Toni Harrison

Local charities are working over time to ensure they meet the needs of the Katrina survivors that have found temporary homes in the Brazos Valley, but at the same time, they can't forget local residents who still need their services.

"It's caused us to work a lot of overtime and do whatever we can to help our current case load as well as additional families we are serving from Louisiana," said Ella McGruder, Program Director, Project Unity.

"We haven't taken a day off, we worked all last Saturday and Sunday, Labor Day and there's no relief. Of course there's no relief for Katrina so there's no relief for us," said Kay Parker, United Way.

Local agencies are feeling the stress of the added work load, but they say they will do their best to make sure the increased numbers from Katrina, don't affect their ability to serve the local community.

"We certainly can't ignore the needs of the local community, that's why we live here that's why we're here and that's what we want to do. We just have to kind of say they're all residents and we will meet the needs of everybody," said Parker.

Agencies like the Brazos Food Bank say they are doing fine for now, but serving local needs and the needs of the Katrina evacuees, will become more difficult as time passes.

"We were able to do it in the short term but we are aware now thinking about having to do it for longer, it was very important to me as a director that our original mission is what was still happening and will still happen," said Theresa Mangapora, Brazos Food Bank.

Some local agencies admit that their budgets might have to be revised, but they are planning to work more closely together to ensure permanent and temporary members of the community receive the services they are depending on.


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