Unique Helping Hand Continues On

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Operation Katrina Home Care, an organization providing assistance to hurricane victims in York, Ala., held an open house Saturday. While the center is not receiving money from the federal government, it is working closely with FEMA.

The director of the center, Cynthia Brooks, says it plans to be open for a long time and will not close until the need in York is met.

"We have some FEMA reps here; United Way is here," said Brooks.
"We've been meeting with them every week and we've been trying to develop a plan. Their plan is two to five years."

Officials with the center say that they are proud of their new building. The use of the previously empty warehouse was donated to organization by the York Industrial Board.

"Our setup is wonderful. You come inside the building and you are greeted by a receptionist and you sign in. And we have ladies in different departments, almost like a shopping mall. We actually call it Katrina Shopping Mall," Brooks said.

The center offers evacuees and host families more than just food, clothing, and household items. Other services provided range from counseling to legal aid.

"A lot of them are probably unfamiliar with Alabama law," said attorney John Stamps, a sponsor of Operation Katrina Home Care. "They have problems they maybe need to research or look into. Maybe need wills drafted, power of attorneys. Just anything that we can do to be of assistance. Just trying to be our brother's keeper, as they would say."

Brooks says the primary need for the center is money, but other donations will be accepted. They are also looking for more sponsors. It opens on Monday, and will operate from then on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.