Katrina “took everything but our lives.”

A free trip to Chicago would be a welcome chance for many people to relax and unwind, but not for Elizabeth Coleman. Her free trip to Chicago came courtesy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in 2007. Elizabeth was escaping Hurricane Katrina, which “took everything but our lives.”

Elizabeth is 80 years old, but looks much younger, owing to her energy and her incredible smile. A native of Birmingham, she has volunteered at Greater Birmingham Ministries over the years. Now Elizabeth receives services from the same organization to which she donated her own time and resources.

She is grateful to have received a home from Habitat for Humanity upon relocating to Birmingham from New Orleans, via Chicago after the storm, but even with this help, relocating is difficult and expensive. She continues to struggle to recover from this unplanned financial burden, and when things are particularly tough, she counts on the emergency food assistance GBM provides to restock her depleted pantry.

Many survivors of Hurricane Katrina still haven’t recovered, nearly 10 years later. But with the helping hands of faith communities in Birmingham, survivors like Elizabeth can have great quality of life and a bright future.

Check out these pages for more information about about Emergency Food Assistance Program and for a list of suggested items.