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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|November 12, 2004
||Contact: AoA Press Office
HHS Provides $42.6 Million in Hurricane Relief
Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced today that
HHS is sending $42.6 million in supplemental hurricane relief
funds to the state of Florida to provide mental health, substance
abuse, medical and social services to people affected by hurricanes
this year. This money is in addition to more than $12 million
HHS previously made available to hurricane recovery efforts.
"Florida's families have endured a rough hurricane season
Secretary Thompson said. "President Bush is committed to
providing the federal resources they need to rebuild their communities
in the wake of the storms."
Four HHS agencies will administer the funding to Florida:
- $17.2 million will come from the
Administration on Aging (AoA) to provide support services for
The money will be used to pay for minor home repairs and
chore services, meals, case management, individual and group
counseling, and temporary housing.
- $11 million will be awarded by the Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
to assist those in need of substance abuse and mental health
clinic services, interventions, and treatment.
- $12.9 million will be awarded from the
Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to support
domestic violence needs, adult services, assistance for
the developmentally disabled, and for child welfare services.
- $1.5 million from Health Resources and
Services Administration (HRSA) will provide assistance to
Florida community health centers that were impacted by
This $42.6 million is in addition to funding HHS made available
to Florida immediately after the storms, which
included $10 million in emergency one-time grants to Head Start and Early Head
Start centers in Florida; $1 million
to assist DeSoto County Hospital and Osceola
Regional Hospital; $600,000 in emergency grants from AoA to
help Florida officials provide meals, shelter and services to
elderly residents; and a $600,000 emergency grant from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention for technical health support,
public health prevention and surveillance activities.
In addition, HHS deployed 700 people to help staff Florida shelters
and hospitals, and to help provide logistical support as Floridians
return to their homes throughout the response and recovery efforts
after the hurricanes. This includes 600 Commissioned Corps officers,
the uniformed service specifically designed to provide medical
and public health care and assistance to Americans. Secretary
Thompson has worked to make the 6,000-member corps more flexible
and adept to handle emergency medical needs.
Finally, the hurricanes led to the largest coordinated effort
in the history of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). Twenty-three
units, consisting of more than 400 volunteers, were activated
to support efforts by FEMA and the American Red Cross in providing
care to Florida families. The MRC is the medical component of
President Bush's USA Freedom Corps Initiative. After the outpouring
of support in the wake of Sept. 11, President Bush called on
citizens to volunteer in their own communities setting up Citizen
Corps volunteer programs. To date there are more than 27,500
volunteers among 212 MRC units across the country.