After Hurricane Katrina hit, relief came pouring in from donors and charity organizations to help rebuild the city as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, nearly two years later, the process of rebuilding is still underway and just now beginning to pick up the pace. Also, the billions of dollars raised has been needed for more than just reconstructing houses.

In the first few weeks after the hurricane hit, $127 million was raised by Habitat for Humanity International. They have been concentrating on rebuilding homes in St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, and Orleans parishes. However, since 2005, only 50 homes have been completed with 70 under construction. This is because only $29 million of the $127 million raised went to the project. About $15 million has been spent with $14 million left to finish what has been started. Habitat’s goal was to construct over 1,000 homes throughout the Gulf Coast, but so far only 100 have been completed or in progress. This is also because of lack of access to these places which were most devastated by the disaster. In fact, reconstruction didn’t even begin until 2006. Despite this slow start, Habitat is hoping to complete 250 houses this year.

Of the $4.25 billion dollars donated to Katrina relief, The American Red Cross collected almost half of it, $2.1 billion dollars from worldwide donors. However, 75 percent of this was spent within one month after the hurricane. Most of it went to sheltering and feeding the evacuees with shelters in 24 states. About $193 million was held for hurricane recovery. The Red Cross is also working with community groups for long term problems associated with the hurricane. One such program is called Access to Care, a hotline which provides emotional care to Katrina victims. Meanwhile, politicians like Bush and Clinton who publicly raised money for Katrina relief gave most of their money to churches, black colleges, and to governors of the states that they raised the money in. In saying this, when it comes to disasters, one can never have too much money in order to rebuild.

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