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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Community center evacuee contact point

The Spokesman-Review

Spokane Valley Community Center has been designated the contact point for Hurricane Katrina victims who are relocating to Spokane County.

Center Director Mollie Dalpae said an official from Washington State Emergency Management Division phoned on Tuesday morning to let her know about the status.

“They went on the Internet and found we were the most comprehensive contact point,” Dalpae said.

Spokane Valley Community Center houses a dozen collaborating social service agencies. The one-stop location offers everything from emergency money to thwart utility shut-offs and pay for prescriptions to food and clothing banks to a nutrition program for women, infants and children.

Dalpae was told that Washington state is expecting about 700 families, but the official couldn’t say how many may arrive in Spokane County.

All Spokane County arrivals will be assessed through the community center. Those who are moving within Spokane Valley zip codes also will receive services through the community center, while the rest will be referred to other social service agencies, Dalpae said.

Dalpae considers the designation an honor: “It think it’s nice to know that we’re still well thought of.”

Other local organizations offering aid to those affected by Hurricane Katrina include:

Housing

“ Authorities have identified 180 rental units in government-financed multi-family housing complexes that are being made available to victims of Hurricane Katrina. The rental units, located mostly in smaller southern Idaho communities, were built with financing from USDA Rural Development, a federal agency intended to help aid development of rural communities.

“We recognize that many of those needing assistance come from rural communities,” said Mike Field, the agency’s Idaho director. “We can provide immediate housing for those hurricane evacuees coming to Idaho.” Displaced families interested in taking advantage of the housing offer must make arrangements through FEMA.

Volunteering

People interested in volunteering for hurricane relief work can get information on that at www.salvationarmyusa.org. In addition, the Salvation Army said it has collected $89,000 in the Spokane region for hurricane relief through collection containers located at area businesses.

Financial aid

Pullman-based Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross to help with relief efforts. The company, which makes equipment for electric power systems, also said it is offering discounts of 30 percent to 50 percent on its products to customers in the Gulf states to help them restore their power systems quickly.

“ ShortStop Shell, located along U.S. Highway 95 at Hayden, will contribute half of its car wash proceeds and $10 of every oil change performed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to Convoy of Hope, a nonprofit organization distributing food and supplies in hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast states.

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