I participated in several events to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Katrina this past weekend. I am sure that many of you did as well. I heard inspiring messages and a great deal of thanks given to a huge number of groups. Volunteers were praised for their humanitarian service and their continued contributions to the recovery process. I listened as politicians thanked the crowds, and each other, for the fantastic work that has been done since August 29, 2005.
I watched a large number of adults shed tears and I even got a bit choked up myself a few times. It was astonishing to hear the numbers as they were spoken about, both in terms of dollars and of temporary housing units alike. I sat for long stretches of time, thought about all that has taken place during this half decade, and fully understood that many of the accomplishments and achieved goals would not have been a reality had it not been for the people who are called case managers. I only heard the term “case management” spoken once during the events that I attended, and yet I knew that most of the progress that has been made on the human side of the recovery would have never occurred had it not been for those who continually work behind the scenes and who perform the “yeoman’s job,” as Governor Barbour described to me yesterday afternoon.
While the work of case managers is not fully understood by many, the importance of your function is clearly understood by the Governor and his staff. I wanted to personally thank all of you who have worked tirelessly on many of the case management programs and initiatives that had existed since 2005, and I doubly thank you for your contributions to the Mississippi Case Management Consortium since 2008.
Now that we have looked back at what has occurred, let us look forward with new energy and resolve to accomplish even more moving into the future. We begin our first day of work on the sixth year of the recovery effort, almost on the same day that the MCMC project is slated to end programmatic operations. This is ironic and, at the same time, hopeful.
While the MCMC project begins to close operations as we know them, we can be certain that while so much work is left to do in the wake of Katrina, we will surely be afforded the opportunity to continue our service to others in some way. I remember that the end of the Katrina Aid Today project was a time of unease and anxiety for many of us, and yet the evolution of the MCMC project could only begin as KAT came to an end. My faith tells me that there is yet another opportunity waiting in the wings, yet to be discovered, and that all of the work I have experienced to this point has only been in preparation for what is around the corner. This knowledge gives me a sense of excitement, and peace, that balances my own anxiety and concern about the future. Let your faith guide you in the coming days and draw strength and peace from His plan for your life.
In closing this update, we need to express our sincere thanks to all of our supporters throughout the State: The MCVS Board of Directors and Staff; The Office of the Governor and all of the staff, including Gerald Blessey and so many others; MEMA and its entire staff; FEMA and their entire staff, both at the local and National level; all of our affiliate partners both current and former; the State VOAD organization and all of its members; GCCF; GCRC; all of the local and nationally elected officials, including Senators and Representatives, as well as their staff members who have assisted us throughout this project; and finally, our clients from whom we have gained so much in terms of education and experience.
Blessing and Peace to all who may read this message from the staff of MCMC.