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Parish Recovery Assistant Centers help Irma survivors
October 6, 2017

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The Catholic Diocese of Venice in Florida has coordinated with Disaster Services of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul-USA to set up five Parish Recovery Assistance Centers (P-RACs), in Naples, Marco Island, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs and Sebring.

The P-RACs opened Monday, Oct. 2 and will be in operation through Friday, Oct. 13.

The P-RACs are an all-inclusive community-based approach to helping families immediately after a disaster hits. Led by Rapid Response Teams, the sites have volunteers present to provide information on FEMA, Small Business Administration and other state and local disaster programs, as well as providing some aide, as well as hygiene kits, cleanup buckets and registering households with Crisis Cleanup for muck outs and debris removal.

The P-RACs do not replace other FEMA recovery operations, but rather compliment those services by being the initial face-to-face interaction for survivors with their community in the road to recovery.

Elizabeth Disco-Shearer, CEO of Disaster Services of SVDP-USA, who was present during the volunteer training session which took place at Resurrection Parish in Fort Myers on Sept. 28, said that people will come to the P-RACs as a home away from home. "It is up to all of us to give them a spark of hope as they begin the road to recovery."

Irma survivors can call 888-507-2722 to get information on P-RACs in their area.

The P-RAC locations and phone numbers:

* St. Cecilia Parish, 5632 Sunrise Drive, Fort Myers, 239-936-3635

* San Marco Parish, 851 San Marco Road, Marco Island, 239-394-5181

* St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples, 239-592-1949

* St. Leo the Great Parish, 28290 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs, 239-992-0901

* St. Catherine Parish, Holy Family Youth Center, 900 US Highway 27, N., Sebring, 863-835-0571

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