Case Worker for Katrina Evacuees
Kathryn Oberg works with other groups to help evacuees get back on their feet. Even laryngitis didn't keep her away from her first week on the job.
"Helping the evacuees become acclimated and a part of this community is part of what I sought in this job," Oberg says.
Oberg wants to start by contacting people to see who is here and what they need. But she finds it difficult.
Director Christine White explains, "Many of the addresses and phone numbers that we have in the database are, temporary, you know, hotel addresses and probably not accurate phone numbers."
Once she's built her own list, Oberg will hit the road. She'll ask many local groups to help evacuees get permanent homes, jobs and transportation.
"What complicates that is finding a place they can live that's near the bus line, and also trying to coordinate job placement for them," Oberg adds.
Oberg is helping 122 families.
"I think the challenge that we have ahead of us is helping these evacuees really become a part of the community and feel like they've been kind of re-established as a family," she says.
But, Oberg needs the community's help with funding. Lutheran Family and Children's Services gets money for Oberg's salary from Lutheran disaster response. But, it needs private donations to help evacuees pay for unexpected expenses like car repairs. To donate, call Luthern Family and Children's Services at 573-815-9955.