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Hurricane Ida, a year later

Fisherman’s Mark a lifeline for many affected by storm


On Sept. 3, 2021, Hurricane Ida ravaged our area. Flood water as high as three feet lifted cars and carried them for blocks. It poured into basements and drove people from their homes. The devastation was mind-numbing.

Our community jumped into action. Basements were mucked out; useless, waterlogged furniture and family possessions were hauled to the sidewalk for pick-up; donations were made for those in need of immediate financial support, many of whom had lost their homes completely.

Fisherman’s Mark was not immune to the destruction. Our home at the time, the Hibernia Fire House, was also significantly damaged in the flood.

We met the challenge by relocating the food pantry and our administration/social services offices so we could continue to provide for those in need.

We set up the Hurricane Ida Relief Grant, a program designed to systematize rapid allocation and distribution of much needed funds in collaboration with other local agencies.

A year after the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida, we wanted to report about what we have accomplished to date:

• Secured and administered over $300,000 in Hurricane Ida Relief Grants to 63 families.

• Supplied $7,500 in gift cards.

• Assisted 50 individuals and families in need of intensive case management.

• Advised 500+ clients about a range of potential resources for recovery.

Here is the breakdown of the distribution of funds:

• Housing/Rental Assistance — 60 percent.

• Construction/Repairs — 23 percent.

• Replacement of personal items — 17 percent.

Hurricane Ida revealed to us just how many people live from paycheck to paycheck in our community. Many, if not most, of these people went from living on the edge to total destitution: no possessions, no money, no resources, no way to return to their work.

Twelve months on, they are still battling their way back to recovery and Fisherman’s Mark is still their lifeline, still advocating for their housing, for FEMA reimbursements, for mental health assistance. We will stand with them until they are returned to self-sufficiency.

Here are a few testimonials from our clients:

• “Fisherman’s Mark has always provided assistance to me but especially after the storm. They helped my family get back on track.” — Phil.

• “Fisherman’s Mark has been wonderful with helping me to get back on my feet. If it had not been for Fisherman’s Mark giving the money to purchase new work gear, I would not have been able to work again.” — Eugene.

• “I would like to thank Fisherman’s Mark for the kindness you have shown and thanks to the wonderful people that donated money for the repairs on my home.” — Melody.

The Fisherman’s Mark board of trustees holds itself accountable for investing 90% of every dollar donated directly into community programs and services.

For more than 42 years Fisherman’s Mark has been “Help When Help Is Needed”. For more information about our programs, how we continue to help those in need, and how you might help, please visit our website at

Jennifer Williford is the executive director of Fisherman’s Mark.

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