www.illinois.gov

Pat Quinn, Governor

State Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

 Government
 Business
 Employment
 Education
 Health & Safety
 Family & Home
 Travel & Recreation
 About Illinois
 Illinois.gov

Stay Informed

Your Government


[Search Tips]

Illinois Flag Honors

Inspector General


 IGNN: State/All Press Release

ILLINOIS NEWS
The State of Illinois News page provides access to the Illinois Government News Network and all state press releases.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2008

Blagojevich Administration Provides Services and Assistance to Thousands of Katrina Evacuees Still Living in Illinois
On third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, thousands of evacuees now receive state assistance and resources needed to gain stability and build future

CHICAGO – As the nation remembers the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the largest and most devastating natural disaster in U.S. history, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Carol. L. Adams, Ph.D. today announced that the state of Illinois continues to provide services to evacuees of the hurricane.  Illinois received the most evacuees outside of the southern states.
 
Illinois is completing its final stage of hurricane relief: IKARE - Illinois Katrina Assistance Relief Effort.  The IKARE effort helps the hundreds of families who have chosen to remain in Illinois.  The mission of this phase is to help those families and individuals become self-sufficient and gain the resources needed to assimilate into Illinois.  IDHS offers state services ranging from health care to schools, unemployment assistance, job training and referrals, food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and much more. 
 
“Hurricane Katrina devastated the lives of thousands of men, women and children.  Three years ago, Illinois stepped up to the plate and helped thousands of victims find shelter, food, medical care and even schools for their children.  And we will continue helping evacuees living in Illinois for as long as they need assistance,” said Governor Blagojevich.  “Today we must also remember and commend all those in Illinois who helped thousands of people from the Gulf States in their time of need.”
 
In order to strengthen the State’s commitment to look after its guests, Governor Blagojevich directed the Illinois Department of Human Services to make sure Katrina evacuees were not at risk for homelessness and are provided with resources to get back on their feet.  Since October 2007, IDHS implemented a three phase program that offered Katrina evacuees the maximum benefits and resources offered by the state. 
 
The first phase of the program dealt with the immediate needs and concerns of evacuees from the moment they arrived in Illinois.  The goal of this phase was to provide them with rental and housing assistance, delinquent utilities assistance, as well as medical, transportation, education and job training and placement assistance. 
 
The second phase was geared towards taking care of the mental health needs of the evacuees.  The emotional toll brought on by the hurricane had a tremendous impact on its victims, who not only lost their homes, but lost family members and their lives as they knew it.  As a result, Illinois provided mental health crisis counseling, assessments and referrals, and emotional support assistance to hundreds of guests through a number of ongoing activities that allowed the State to individually reach out to thousands of evacuees to make sure their needs were being taken care of.  Elements of the first phase were still implemented during the second phase.
 
Hundreds of families and individuals have benefited from the help given by the State of Illinois.  Evacuees who lost all hope when they saw everything they’ve worked for washed away by the floods now have a new optimistic view of the future.  Many people have received job training and are currently working, found affordable housing, and their children are receiving an education.
 
“I am proud of the work we’ve done so far to help assist those who were impacted by Hurricane Katrina,” said Secretary Adams.  “Now, three years later, we have helped hundreds of families gain stability and are ready to focus on their and their families’ future here in Illinois.”
 
The agency also worked with other State and local agencies, as well as not-for-profit organizations, and private and public institutions across the state to reach out to hundreds of sheltered individuals to offer continuous assistance for those who came to the state in FEMA-sponsored flights or managed to arrive in Illinois on their own.
 
To date, Illinois has served over 3,000 individuals through IKARE and currently, more than 6,000 evacuees still live in Illinois.   


###

News Categories

 State/All
 Governor's Office
 Lt. Governor's Office
 Agriculture
 Budget/Fiscal
 Business
 Children/Families
 Culture
 Disabilities
 Economic Development
 Education
 Environment
 Flag Honors
 Health/Human Services
 History
 Infrastructure
 Opportunity Returns
 Recovery
 Safety/Security
 Technology
 Tourism/Recreation
 Transportation
 Workforce/Jobs

News Resources

 Search the News
 IIS Radio News
 RSS News Feeds
 e-News Subscriptions
 Communications Office
 Privacy Statement

Features

Sign up for an e-news subscription
Copyright © 2014 State of Illinois Site Map | Illinois Privacy Info | Kids Privacy | Web Accessibility | Contact Us