Catholic Charities, St. Vincent de Paul poised to help those impacted by flooding

Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org
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Catholic Charities of St. Louis has stepped in to assist in the long-term recovery efforts of those affected by recent flooding in the St. Louis region.

Hundreds of households and businesses in the 11 counties of the Archdiocese of St. Louis have experienced damage from the flooding, many of them previously impacted by flooding in late December 2015/early January 2016.

"Since we are still assisting many families from the New Year 2016 flood, our case managers and disaster response team are very aware of the needs families will have for the long-term," said Theresa Ruzicka, president of Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities also is partnering with numerous service organizations and state agencies to open multi-agency resource centers (MARCs) in the coming weeks to provide assistance to flood victims.

"As residents and volunteers work to protect communities from the rising flood waters, Catholic Charities is in constant contact with many other disaster relief agencies in the St. Louis region to be ready to assist those when the flood recedes," said Tyrone Ford, Catholic Charities' director of service integration.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul partnered with Teamsters and CBS radio to host a non-perishable food collection for flood victims May 8 at the Schnucks at 4333 Butler Hill Road in Mehlville.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul also was accepting non-perishable food items May 9-14 at its thrift stores. Hours are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday. For a list of thrift store locations, visit http://stlouisreview.com/bFe.

How you can help

• United Way 2-1-1 resource specialists are available by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-800-427-462.

• Volunteer opportunities: Visit the United Way of Greater St. Louis Emergency Volunteer Center at www.STLVolunteer.org.

• Donate: Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 1310 Papin Street, St. Louis, Mo. 63103. Donations/checks should be directed to the SVDP Disaster Relief Fund.

• A fund has been set up to help with flood relief efforts. Donations should be made to Catholic Charities of St. Louis by mailing a check to P.O. Box 952393, St. Louis MO 63195; indicate "May 2017 Flood Relief" in the memo line. Or donate online at www.ccstl.org and select "May 2017 Flood Relief" on the donate page.

• Catholic Family Services has mental health experts available for anyone affected by recent flooding; call (314) 544-3800 or go to www.cfsstl.org. Additionally, a disaster distress helpline is a 24/7 resource that anyone (including responders and volunteers) can use to assist in processing emotional and psychological reactions. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. 

In need of help?

Fifteen Multi-Agency Resource Centers will provide a one-stop shop for flood victims in need of resources. More than 15 agencies, including state, faith-based and other disaster relief agencies are involved. Catholic Charities of St. Louis, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will participate in MARCs throughout the state.

MARCs will be open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at the following locations in the St. Louis area. Participants should bring a proof of address. Free child care is available:

• Friday and Saturday, May 12-13, Manchester United Methodist Church, 129 Woods Mill Road, Ballwin, MO 63011

• Monday, May 15, Pacific Eagles 707 West Congress, Pacific MO 63069

• Tuesday, May 16, Northwest Valley Middle School, 4300 Gravois Road, House Springs, MO 63051

• Thursday, May 18, Arnold First Baptist Church, 2012 Missouri State Road, Arnold, MO 63010 

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