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Home > CWLA 2005 Hurricane Relief Efforts > The Saint Francis Academy


The St. Francis Academy Inc.

The Saint Francis Academy

The facilities operated by The Saint Francis Academy Inc. (SFA) in Mississippi were so damaged by Hurricane Katrina that the staff and 20 children at the nonprofit child welfare agency found themselves in Kansas.

Though far from home, evacuating to SFA's headquarters in the Midwest ensured their safety. It also gave them time to instigate a recovery plan and seek funding to repair $360,000 in damage to two facilities-Bascot Home for Youth in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and St. Michael's Campus for Youth in Picayune, Mississippi, both of which provide 24-hour residential care for boys ages 10-18 coping with emotional and behavioral issues.

As a CWLA member, The Saint Francis Academy immediately looked to CWLA's Katrina Kids fund for help and received a $150,000 award. The funding has taken care of many losses not covered by insurance, including fence repair, tree removal, grounds cleanup, a new septic tank, and new flooring at the St. Michael's Campus. At the Bascot Home, the CWLA monies purchased two industrial freezers and a dishwasher, and repair fencing and buildings damaged by flooding.

The CWLA grant award also covered insurance deductibles and travel expenses from evacuating the children and staff to Kansas, and then transporting them back to Mississippi earlier this year.

In all, SFA incurred approximately $450,000 in financial need as result of Katrina. CWLA's Katrina Kids fun will offset these expenses.

"In receiving such a grant, we were able to begin the cleanup procedure and get those campuses back to at least being a safe environment," says Sharon Ringler, Vice President of Development for SFA. "These are kids with extremely high special needs and we are just so grateful that we are able to continue those programs and not have had to close them down."

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