On November 1, 2005, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson and Corporation for National and Community Service CEO David Eisner, launched the Universities Rebuilding America Partnership (URAP) at Louisiana State University. The new program will offer resources and support to engage college and university students, faculty and staff in helping rebuild the Gulf Coast region.
URAP works to inspire our nation’s college students to respond to natural disaster in a way that:
- Brings timely and useful aid to individuals and communities affected by the disaster.
- Engages the nation’s young people in volunteer service, while inspiring them to a lifetime of service.
- Utilizes the nation’s best intellectual talent to partner with affected communities in a collaborative design process to imagine and build stronger communities.
- Forms long-lasting and effective partnerships among government agencies, universities, non-profit organizations, and communities.
Response by the American people to the devastation caused by the hurricanes in the Gulf Coast region has been unprecedented. In particular, our nation’s colleges and universities responded by offering displaced students and faculty a place on their campuses, often waiving fees and requirements. Student organizations held fundraisers and assembled books, supplies, clothing, and other necessities and, in some cases, delivered them personally to people who were suffering. In areas housing Katrina evacuees, college students volunteered in shelters, schools, and community centers. Now students are helping the Gulf Coast recovery by organizing teams to aid in the long-term process of rebuilding.
$5.6 Million Dollars in Grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development
As part of the Universities Rebuilding America Partnership, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has launched two programs to give grants to Universities to provide services to communities impacted by Katrina.
Universities Rebuilding America Partnership -
A Toolkit for Organizing Group Service Trips to the Gulf Coast Region
The Corporation for National and Community Service has developed the following toolkit to help university students, faculty and staff prepare for group trips to help rebuild the devastated areas of the Gulf Coast region. In addition to providing practical information, the toolkit is designed to help campus organizers think through important elements of the travel and work experience such as choosing the best sites and sponsoring organizations; orienting group members for the trip, including training and education; and providing opportunities for individual and group reflection.
The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
In conjunction with the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, the Universities Rebuilding America Partnership will recognize higher education institutions for their contributions to the recovery and rebuilding efforts of communities, organizations, and families affected by the hurricanes of 2005 as part of the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Press and Media Information
Funding Available to AmeriCorps Grantees
The Corporation for National and Community Service provided $15 million in funding to enhance existing AmeriCorps grants that can provide immediate needs to states impacted by the recent disasters. Programs may use this funding to provide volunteer coordination, volunteer management, and direct service activities to support the Universities Rebuilding America Partnership.”