The Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina Isn’t Over Yet

Mandy Shunnarah, GBM Communications Specialist

Brenda Jones had a good life in Laurel, Mississippi. There she had family, friends, a job, and a place to call home. She had a thriving community and a future within that community until Hurricane Katrina washed it all away.

After Laurel was devastated, Brenda fled with her granddaughter to Birmingham. She had visited the Magic City a few times since 1996, but didn’t really know anyone here. But when she was uprooted from Laurel, she took a chance on–what was to her–the big city. Though coming to a new place wasn’t without challenges. “After Katrina, I was living out of my car. I was bathing myself and my granddaughter in the bathroom at McDonald’s. I found out about GBM and they gave me food and clothes and helped me get signed up for housing. Thanks to them I’m living in Birmingham housing now,” Brenda said, her gratitude impossible to hide.

The food pantry and clothes closet also allowed her to get essentials like diapers for her granddaughter and allowed her to replace some of the clothes she had to leave behind in the flood waters in Laurel. She’s grateful for the help she’s received at GBM. “I like how you can talk to Mrs. Mary and she’ll tell you things you can do to help you and she’ll encourage you to always have a smile on your face,” said Brenda.

If you’d like to make a donation to GBM’s food pantry and utilities assistance program to help people like Brenda, click here to make a monetary donation online, or you can drop food off at the GBM’s location, 2304 12th Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35234, Monday through Friday between 8:30am and 4:30pm. All donations are tax deductible.