FEMA To End Funding For Project Recovery - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

FEMA To End Funding For Project Recovery

Judy Bultman is the director for the Bethel Lutheran Church Disaster Ministries in Biloxi.

"People that we see here have no resources. That's the reason it's a free medical clinic because we see anybody that needs help here," says Bultman.

The church set up the clinic one week after Hurricane Katrina hit the Coast. While the clinic offers free medical help, Bultman says the need goes far beyond cuts and bruises.

"So much of the medical problems are stress related and problems with people dealing with what they are living right now. Not only do you have the stresses that you had right after the storm but you have more because they are multiplied because of the time," says Bultman.

That's why she called Project Recovery, a FEMA funded program which provides free crisis counseling services to people affected by Katrina. However, In only a matter of days FEMA will no longer fund the mental health program.

Eugene Brezany, spokesman for FEMA says in a statement to WLOX that "FEMA and the state of Mississippi came to an agreement that needs have been met in terms of crisis counseling. Out of the hundreds of thousands who received counseling, there are very few left. The Mississippi Department of Mental Health is prepared to handle what is left."

However Judith Jones, who sees the faces of Katrina every day, says that's not the case.

"They are sleeping less, they are having more restless sleep, and it's just a need. Somebody from high up needs to come down and look at figures and data to see that we need a lot more help, and we are going to for a lot longer," says Jones.

Counselors at Project Recovery will be available until Friday, April 27th. After that time, all calls will be transferred to the Mississippi Department of Health. That number is 1-866-856-3227.

by Elise Roberts

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