PRATT CITY, ALABAMA (September 9, 2011) – More than 330 survivors of a killer tornado in this area outside of Birmingham will receive holistic support to improve their lives, thanks to a partnership among Covenant World Relief (CWR), New City Covenant Church and the Center for Urban Missions, a 501c3 charitable arm of New City Covenant.
A group that recently toured the area included Southeast Conference Superintendent Robert Owens, Covenant World Relief (CWR) Director Dave Husby, and Compassion, Mercy, and Justice Executive Minister Debbie Blue.
The physical and personal destruction caused by tornadoes that ripped through the South earlier this year has receded into the background of the public consciousness as the country turns its focus to relief in Joplin, Missouri, and the devastation along the East Coast.
Following the tornadoes in April, some residents were relocated to Park Place Community while others continued to reside in Pratt City, the hardest-hit area. They are located on Birmingham’s east side, considered one of the most troubled sections of the city.
To assist these survivors, a six-pronged program has been implemented:
- A client-tracking database will ensure that each client will be offered a follow-up plan, outcome measures, appointments, progress opportunities, and final dispositions.
- Case management will assess each family and connect them with assistance that will include gas cards, bus tokens, and home and back-to-school supplies.
- Summer camp will be offered that will teach sufficiency skills to children and parents.
- Stress management and health programs are being implemented in connection with the University of Alabama at the Birmingham Health and Wellness facility located only blocks away from Park Place. Clients will be provided mental health screening and mental health care.
- A ministry team will provide counseling and training that will help parents develop their skills, especially those under stress from the traumatic experience.
- A job training program is being conducted through Advance Career Training Solutions, located just a few blocks from Park Place. The program will teach job skills as well as how to prepare clients for job interviews. A local YMCA clothes closet will provide clothing to ensure clients have proper work attire.
- Senior Adult Fellowship and Enrichment will offer computer literacy training.
The Center for Urban Missions worked with former CWR Director Jim Sundholm to provide relief and recovery following Hurricane Katrina.