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Gray here to help Selma and Dallas County Katrina evacuees

The Selma Times-Journal

Hurricane Katrina evacuees throughout Selma and Dallas County have Lisa Gray on their side.

Gray, a former resident of Monroe, La. is the new long-term recovery coordinator for the United Way of Selma and Dallas County.

Gray’s duties include working with evacuees to find out their unmet needs and lead them on the road to recovery, said United Way Executive Director Jeff Cothran. Gray will also work with the statewide long-term recovery coordinator in Montgomery and several non-profit agencies and organizations.

Gray wants local hurricane evacuees to know she is here to help – she can be reached at (334) 874-8383.

Gray has first-hand knowledge of evacuees’ needs. When Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans Aug. 29, Gray’s parents, siblings and in-laws were among the thousands who lost their homes and possessions. Gray described the experience as “heartbreaking.”

Gray sheltered 20 evacuees following the storm while trying to locate missing family members. Thankfully, a reunion was just around the corner.

“Everyone is present and accounted for now,” Gray happily reported.

Gray’s position is part of a grant awarded to the United Way from its national headquarters.

Cothran said he was notified the United Way had received the grant on April 7. The grant will expire Dec. 31, but Cothran said the agency will re-apply as the deadline approaches.

Cothran also added the United Way is currently applying for cash grants for evacuees who want to settle in Alabama.

For more information about the United Way, visit the Web site www.unitedway.selmaalabama.com.