HUMAN SERVICES COUNCIL OF NEW YORK CITY, INC. 130 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022 Phone: (212) 836-1230 Fax: (212) 836-1837 KATRINA UPDATE (Wednesday, March 22, 2006) VOTING RIGHTS FOR EVACUEES The Civil Rights Committee of the Bar Association of the City of New York is participating in an important campaign to assure that Katrina evacuees are able to access their right to vote. Please pass on to anyone working with Katrina evacuees from New Orleans (Orleans Parish) information on how they can vote in the upcoming election. Detailed information that can be distributed, including a “Bill of Rights to assist displaced voters with absentee and early voting”, is available from The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law website; http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/2005website/home/home.html. For more details, evacuees and others can call the Election Protection Coalition at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683). Eligible evacuees should request an absentee ballot as soon as possible. Official information from the Louisiana Secretary of State is below: SECRETARY OF STATE, STATE OF LOUISIANA http://www.sec.state.la.us/elections/elections-displaced.htm If you are a registered voter of Louisiana who has been displaced as a result of Hurricane Katrina or Rita, you are still eligible to vote in your home parish if you have not registered to vote in another parish or state. There are presently three ways to vote in Louisiana: (1) absentee by mail ballot, (2) early voting in person in the Registrar of Voters office six to twelve days before an election, and (3) in person at the polling place on Election Day. For more information on how to check your current registration status, register to vote, or vote, please contact your home parish Registrar of Voters office or the Louisiana Secretary of State Elections Division by email at email@example.com or at 1-800-883-2805. If you register to vote in another parish or state, your voting rights will be affected in your home parish. For more information, please contact your home parish Registrar of Voters or the Secretary of State. Special notices for voters displaced by the hurricanes: (REVISED 3-2-06 AT 4:30 PM) Voters who were displaced by the hurricanes should use the Displaced Voter Request for Absentee Ballot by Mail PDF form rather than the standard form listed above. These voters may also be required to fill out a Displaced Voter Affidavit PDF form in addition to the standard form listed above. EARLY VOTING in satellite offices around the state: Applies to Orleans registered voters only and they must have been registered by 9/24/05 Early satellite parish registrar of voters offices: Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans, Ouachita, Rapides, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Terrebonne ABSENTEE VOTING BY MAIL with a Displaced Voter Affidavit: Applies to: o Any registered voter in the State who is displaced and who has previously voted in person in his parish of registration. o Any registered voter in the State who is displaced and who registered by mail between 10/5/04 – 9/25/05, but who has not voted in person yet. HSC KATRINA UPDATE 3/22/06 HUMAN SERVICES COUNCIL OF NEW YORK CITY PAGE 2 In order to take advantage of the special rules in Act 4 of the 2006 1st extraordinary session, these eligible voters will also be required to fill out a Displaced Voter Affidavit PDF form in addition to the Displaced Voter Request for Absentee Ballot by Mail PDF form listed above. Request for absentee ballot is valid for 1 year – until 2/23/07 Deadline to request absentee ballot: 4:30 pm day before election Deadline to submit voted absentee ballot: election day FREE LEGAL SERVICES CLINIC FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2006 Praxis Housing Initiatives and the National Bar Association (founded in 1925 is the nation’s oldest and largest association of African-American attorneys, and today represents a network of more than 20,000 African-American lawyers, judges, and law professors) are co-sponsoring a free Legal Clinic and reception next week for Katrina evacuees and the organizations and individuals who are assisting them. What: Hurricane Katrina Relief Seminar – featuring a free legal clinic for local evacuees, their families and case workers and live national web-cast from Tulane Law School in New Orleans, LA. Hosted by: The National Football League** Where: NFL Corporate Headquarters - 280 Park Avenue, NYC When: Friday, March 31, 2006 – 2:00 – 7:00 pm Who: Local attorneys and legal service agencies will discuss NYC specific concerns prior to the web cast. RSVP: 1-888-744-7900 The national web cast will feature three panels. Panel I will address how lawyers and law students can assist the relief effort and will feature Associate Justice Catherine Kimball of the Louisiana Supreme Court, National Bar Association President Reginald M. Turner, Jr., Marta-Ann Schnabel, who is president-elect of the Louisiana State Bar Association, and Morgan Williams, who is one of the leaders of the Student Hurricane Network that is encouraging law students around the country to volunteer in the Gulf Coast. Panel II will provide evacuees and volunteers with the latest disaster relief information. This panel will feature New Orleans City Council President Oliver M. Thomas, Jr. and Eugene Cornelius, Jr., who is the District Director of the United States Small Business Administration. Panel III will address the common questions and concerns of evacuees. This panel will include Louisiana State Representative Karen Carter, who will discuss insurance issues from her perspective as the chairperson of the House Insurance Committee, Southern University Law Professor John Pierre, who will discuss mortgage and landlord tenant issues, Louisiana State Representative Cheryl A. Gray, who will discuss issues regarding the upcoming election, and Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Executive Counsel Monique Edwards, who will address environmental concerns of volunteers and evacuees. Reception will follow ** Please note - Due to building security people must RSVP to be able to attend. HSC KATRINA UPDATE 3/22/06 HUMAN SERVICES COUNCIL OF NEW YORK CITY PAGE 3 KATRINA HELPLINE: CASE MANAGEMENT REFERRAL Not-for-profit social services agencies helping Katrina and Rita evacuees in New York City offer a consolidated system for referring evacuees to one of the participating agencies for an appropriate case manager. Case managers can help evacuees find out what services and benefits may be available and how to access them. Please keep in mind that this Helpline does not serve as a general Information and Referral line for Katrina-related questions, but is the central point for assigning evacuees to case managers. We are grateful to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York for operating this collaborative Helpline. New York City social service agencies have trained Case Managers who are available to work with evacuees one-on-one to develop a practical plan and achieve recovery goals. To request a Case Manager from any one of these agencies: Call 1-888-744-7900, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. KATRINA AND RITA APPLICATION REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APRIL 10 News Release http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=24159 Release Date: March 10, 2006 Release Number: 1603-394 KATRINA AND RITA APPLICATION REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APRIL 10 WASHINGTON, DC -- To ensure all victims are able to register for assistance, David Paulison, Acting Director of the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), today announced that the deadline for registering for assistance as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas has been extended 30 days to April 10, 2006. Homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage from the hurricanes can apply by calling the FEMA registration number, 800-621-FEMA (3362); TTY 800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired, or online at http://www.fema.gov/. Applicants may qualify for help under a wide-range of federal and state programs such as temporary disaster housing assistance; SBA low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses; and assistance for disaster-related needs not covered by insurance. To date, FEMA has received more than 2.6 million applications for assistance from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita victims. NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY HURRICANE KATRINA ASSISTANCE GUIDE The “New York & New Jersey Hurricane Katrina Assistance Guide” is now available. It can be downloaded from http://www.can.org/. The Guide offers information on local resources that may be helpful to people who were impacted by the 2005 Gulf Coast Hurricanes. Created in response to the diverse needs of the evacuee community, the Guide is designed to provide those in need, and those who serve them, with up-to-date information on services and referrals. Go to the CAN website, and click on “Get Katrina Help Now” at the left of the screen. HSC KATRINA UPDATE 3/22/06 HUMAN SERVICES COUNCIL OF NEW YORK CITY PAGE 4 ASSISTANCE WITH TAX RETURNS FOR LOW-INCOME HURRICANE VICTIMS Special tax provisions have been passed that pertain to victims of Hurricane Katrina, Rita and Wilma. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the American Association of Attorney-CPAs (AAA-CPA) have agreed to accept referrals from VITA/TCE sites of taxpayers needing preparation of tax returns with casualty loss deductions. Because of the technical complexity of the issue and the steep learning curve that would be involved in training all volunteers, casualty loss deductions are out of scope for VITA/TCE return preparation. Taxpayers must visit a VITA/TCE site in order to be referred. Only those taxpayers who meet the VITA income requirements (income less than $38,000) will be eligible for referral. For a list of IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TAC) that have been assisting taxpayers with casualty loss deductions go to http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=150899,00.html. Foodchange, the largest civilian free tax preparer in the U.S., has trained staff at three of their sites especially to help Katrina evacuees: Harlem Downtown Brooklyn Bed-Stuy Food & Finance Center Independence Community Bed-Stuy Restoration 284 St. Nicholas Avenue Bank 1368 Fulton Street ( inside (between 124th and 125th 195 Montague Street , 4th courtyard of Bed- Stuy Streets, on Harlem USA Floor Restoration, across from block) New York , NY 10027 Brooklyn , NY 11201 Duane Reade ) Brooklyn , Subway : 2, 3, A, B, C, D to Subway : M, N, R, to Court NY 11216 125th Street Street; 2, 3, 4, 5 to Borough Subway : A, C, to Nostrand Hall Avenue NATIONAL LAW CENTER ON HOMELESSNESS AND POVERTY SEEKING INFORMATION ON CERTAIN CLIENT PROBLEMS 3/20/06 Request for Information about FEMA Appeals from Katrina Victims In the course of our advocacy on behalf of Katrina evacuees, it has come to our attention that some people may be facing difficulties appealing FEMA decisions. To assess whether there are problems, we want to speak to people who have experienced any of these situations: 1. FEMA denied application for assistance. The evacuee appealed, but FEMA denied the appeal; 2. FEMA denied application for assistance. The evacuee appealed, but did not hear anything back from FEMA within 90 days of the appeal; 3. FEMA denied the application but did not inform the applicant that he/she had 60 days to appeal, the applicant appealed late, and FEMA rejected the appeal as untimely; 4. FEMA denied the application but did not inform the applicant that he/she had 60 days to appeal, and the applicant missed the deadline for appealing; 5. FEMA denied the application but the applicant did not receive notice of the denial until much later, and FEMA rejected the appeal as untimely. If you or someone you know has encountered these difficulties with FEMA, please contact us as soon as possible, but no later than March 31, 2006. Our contact information: HSC KATRINA UPDATE 3/22/06 HUMAN SERVICES COUNCIL OF NEW YORK CITY PAGE 5 Terri Keeley National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty firstname.lastname@example.org Request for Information about HUD Disaster Assistance to Individuals Who Were Homeless Before the Hurricanes In the course of our advocacy on behalf of Katrina evacuees, it has come to our attention that we have little information about what happened to individuals who were homeless before the hurricanes, and whether they are receiving the assistance to which they were entitled. To assess whether there are problems, we want to speak to people who have experienced either of these situations, or service providers who are aware of individuals in these situations: 1. A person who was homeless before Hurricane Katrina or Rita and sought assistance from a local housing authority after the hurricane but was rejected. or 2. A person who was homeless before Hurricane Katrina or Rita and sought assistance from the federal government after the hurricane but was rejected. If you or someone you know has encountered these difficulties trying to get disaster assistance, please contact us as soon as possible, but no later than March 31, 2006. Our contact information: Terri Keeley National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty email@example.com HURRICANE KATRINA HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS TEACH-IN FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC WHEN: Tuesday April 4th, 2006 9:30am-4:30 pm WHERE: Spellman Auditorium, Marymount College 100 Marymount Avenue, Tarrytown, NY 10591 Parking is limited so please carpool, organize a bus or take public transporation The Honorable Judge Claudia Morcom presented the human rights concerns of the People's Institute West and Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute in a United Nations Human Rights Committee meeting in Geneva Switzerland on October 24, 2005. The United Nations has responded by sending Dr. Arun K Sengupta, an expert on extreme poverty and human rights, to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana in October 2005. His report will be made public before the United Nations panel in March 2006. This teach in will continue the process of supporting full public disclosure of the human rights investigation initiated by the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Facilitators: Rev. David Billings, People's Institute for Survival and Beyond ; Rev. Daniel A. Buford, Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute: students, educators and community organizers. Sponsored by the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service For information call Fordham University at 1.718.817.5607 FEMA DEADLINE The deadline for applying for FEMA disaster assistance benefits and SBA loans is April 10, 2006 for both Katrina and Rita declarations. HSC KATRINA UPDATE 3/22/06 HUMAN SERVICES COUNCIL OF NEW YORK CITY PAGE 6 EMPLOYMENT & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES MET COUNCIL CAREER SERVICES THE FUTURE’S PROGRAM NO-COST EMPLOYMENT SERVICES FREE TO ALL WHO HAVE LOST THEIR JOB THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN INCLUDING THOSE WHO LOST THEIR JOBS BECAUSE OF HURRICANE KATRINA OUR EXPERIENCED STAFF OFFERS NO-COST SERVICES IN CAREER ADVISEMENT RESUME AND COVER LETTER HELP JOB PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE INTERVIEW PREPARATION FOR MORE INFORMATION: contact Nicky Paul at (212) 453 – 9655 or firstname.lastname@example.org Bella Goldvug at (212) 453 – 9659 or email@example.com Stephen Sokal at (212) 453 –9513 or firstname.lastname@example.org JOB OFFERS FOR FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN Harman International is offering job opportunities for families with children in the following US cities: Washington, MO; Northridge, CA; Elkhart, IN; Franklin, KY; Martinsville, IN; Farmington, MI. Positions available include: Assembly workers, Accountants, Technicians, Engineers. All interested families will be given a job application. Qualified applicants will have an opportunity to discuss their qualifications. Details of available positions including benefits and relocation assistance will be addressed. Please contact Isabel Lugo or Jan Flory of The Children’s Aid Society (212-949-4800) if you are interested or if you have any questions. FREE TRAINING EARN A CERTIFICATE AND START A CAREER AS A HOME ATTENDANT NY STATE DEPT OF HEALTH APPROVED COURSE CONVENIENT EVENING CLASSES NEW SESSIONS BEGIN EVERY 2 WEEKS IN ENGLISH, SPANISH, AND RUSSIAN GAIN LOTS OF HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE RECEIVE JOB PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE EARN UP TO $9.50/HOUR + HEALTH BENEFITS TO SIGN UP TODAY, CALL IRENE, PROGRAM COORDINATOR, AT (212) 453-9697 HSC KATRINA UPDATE 3/22/06 HUMAN SERVICES COUNCIL OF NEW YORK CITY PAGE 7 MISCELLANEOUS JOB-RELATED WEBSITE RESOURCES http://www.resumevideo.com/live/jobbanks/ReportJobsOpenBCC.asp http://workministry.com/index.html http://www.workforceusa.net/ http://www.job-hunt.org http://portal.cuny.edu/cms/id/cuny/documents/jobposting/SupportStaffTOC.htm http://www.unhny.org/jobbank/index.cfm?FolderID=59 VOLUNTEER THROUGH UNITED WAY OF NEW YORK CITY United Way of New York City and The Mayor's Volunteer Center have partnered to create www.volunteernyc.org, which provides an easy way for New Yorkers who want to help to search available volunteer opportunities. Any organization can easily register its volunteer needs on this site. United Way of America's website, www.unitedway.org, also offers information on volunteer opportunities in the Gulf Coast Region. To publicize services or information for Katrina/Rita evacuees in New York City, please contact Hayyim Obadyah at Obadyahh@ujafedny.org. Events and activities mentioned in this Katrina Update are presented for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement by the Human Services Council or its member agencies.
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