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HHSC serves more than 26,000 hurricane evacuees

By J. Lyn Carl,

Austin, TX –

Louisiana residents fleeing from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina began pouring into Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) agency offices throughout Texas by mid-week this week, as tens of thousands of evacuees were evacuated from Louisiana to Texas.

Today, HHSC officials report they had provided food assistance to more than 26,000 Louisiana families by Friday. Agency offices will remain open during the long Labor Day holiday weekend offering assistance to the evacuees.

Eight families were processed for emergency food stamps on Tuesday, and more evacuees began seeking assistance as they crossed the border into Texas. On Wednesday, more than 5,200 families received assistance, and more than 9,000 more were served by HHSC employees on Thursday. Friday was the biggest day for HHSC, with more than 12,000 Louisiana families being offered assistance.

HHSC officials advise that the 2-1-1 Texas hotline provides information and referrals for those needing assistance. In addition, HHSC has established a special hotline, 888-312-4567, solely for Louisiana evacuees. Those who would like to volunteer, make donations or offer other forms of assistance for the storm victims are asked to contact the OneStar Foundation or other relief organizations. The 2-1-1 hotline does not provide this type of information, said HHSC officials, and should be reserved for those seeking assistance.

HHSC offers the following contact information for those seeking to donate or volunteer:

- OneStar Foundation Hurricane Relief: 800-707-6768 or

- American Red Cross: 800-HELP NOW

- Salvation Army: 800-SAL-ARMY

More news links and relief effort resources from KERA

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