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MS Rapid Response Coalition providing aid to hurricane evacuees and in impacted areas

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Louisiana hurricane evacuees at the end of their rope are finding much needed help from a group of non-profit organizations working together to provide relief.

The Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition is giving aid to those who’ve fled the storm-ravaged areas.

“We heard the house shaking left and right,” said Javen Collins. “Then the tree hit, you know. Then we looked up and saw the sky.”

The 31-year-old, his wife, Rachel, and their three sons road out the hurricane inside their Ponchatoula home and escaped with no injuries. Their home is damaged and flooded.

They are now in a Jackson hotel, grateful for the help of the Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition.

“It’s really bad where we’re at. We got, like, four feet of water,” said Collins. “Still no lights. We call everyday. Gas right now they say one store has gas. It’s like six dollars”

The coalition is collecting and distributing water and other essential items to victims in Louisiana and Mississippi. From their 911 Palmyra Street warehouse, trucks make deliveries of pallets of water. They are then shipped to the impacted areas nearly daily.

The organization is also providing meals and hotel rooms for evacuees.

“Many are having to vacate hotels because they don’t have anywhere to go,” said Danyelle Holmes with the MS Rapid Response Coalition. “So we’ve found individuals sleeping in their cars, and so it was a need for us as a community to come and help our community and save our people.”

Volunteers found the Collins family just when their funds were running out. They face a long road ahead even when they are able to return.

“We’ll probably be here another week or two because, even if the lights get back on, our house has a tree in it,” added Collins. “So they have to remove the tree and everything else after that.”

You can drop off donations Monday-Friday at 911 Palmyra Street in Jackson. Or you can contributions by going to the People’s Advocacy Institute’s Facebook page.

If you need help, contact The MS Rapid Response Coalition at 1-800-608-1031.

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