As I sit here participating in Web 2.0 via the blogs of everyone lucky enough to be there physically, a colleague from One Economy sent along a real-time example of the web's potential -- One Economy & Cisco's Katrina Help Center:
One Economy is a national nonprofit organization, with a San Jose office, that uses technology as a tool to augment and enhance existing systems and community development activities to better support the needs and potential of low-income people. Our belief is that through innovative uses of the Internet and by partnering with local nonprofit organizations who are already serving low-income people, we can break through the barriers caused by the social and economic isolation of poverty.
All of us at One Economy express our support for the many victims of Hurricane Katrina. With sponsorship from Cisco Systems, a team of us from around the country has created the Katrina Help Center ( www.katrinahelpcenter.org) to help the displaced residents of the Gulf Coast region. This website gathers the best online resources and information for disaster victims and makes them available in one central, accessible location.
Katrina Help Center aims to make the recovery process easier for disaster victims, while providing them comfort and guidance in what can be an overwhelming experience. As with the Beehive, we have created this site with the audience in mind. The format is intentionally written at a low-literacy level, and includes a special section for Spanish language resources.
At the Katrina Help Center , disaster victims will find user-friendly information on:
§ Where to go for housing, food and clothing
§ How to apply for federal disaster assistance
§ How to transfer your TANF, WIC, and Medicaid benefits to another state
§ What to do about insurance claims
§ How to find a job
Please help us share this resource with others. We encourage you to link to our site and to promote this resource among your networks. Some of you may already be lending a hand to evacuees, or working with your community to provide housing and support to families from the Gulf Coast . Katrina Help Center can show you how to get or give help in this time of need.
We welcome any and all comments, questions, and suggestions for improving the site. We’re making enhancements to the site every day, and will soon introduce stories direct from the region. Keep coming back to see what’s new and let us know how we’re doing. (Katrina Help Center contact: Marta Urquilla , firstname.lastname@example.org .)