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In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina...
  • Lives are still shattered: Families are being moved from the recreational trailers to permanent housing. Those who do not qualify for a short-term rent subsidy will be homeless; those who cannot assume rent payments in the next few months will also be homeless… again. Serendipitous intervention kept one mother and five children from homelessness. Two of the children were sent to a homeless center; one attempted suicide.
  • Trauma and loss: Half of these children still need clinical help.
  • No education: School is still an issue. The uncertainty involved in relocating will likely produce an increase in truancy which is already excessive.
  • Isolation: For many, isolation is becoming agitation and aggravation.

There is a way to help these children!

In October 2005, one month after the hurricane, teams of art therapists and volunteers began visits to Renaissance Village, FEMA’s largest trailer park near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They have made twelve trips since the catastrophe. Working in a tent, the artwork that emerged out of the chaos and tragedy documents trauma, loss, anger and depression as well as the survivors’ hopes and dreams for the future.

Katrina Through The Eyes Of Children – an art exhibit – features their art, stories, photographs and videotaped interviews. It enables the voices of these young people to be heard by generations to come. It will raise awareness of the effectiveness of art therapy as a tool for responding to trauma; especially with children. The impact from Hurricane Katrina on these lives suggests a need for the creation of a trauma center for children and teens that will develop programs and train healthcare professionals, educators and artists in first response to catastrophic situations and other trauma in children.

Donations, sponsorships and grants are needed. All gifts will benefit Community Initiatives Foundation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and its service to children and teens for mental health and education as well as the creation of a trauma center.