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press Release

CORE Launches Hurricane Ida Recovery Operations to Address Urgent Needs Facing Hardest Hit Communities

September 01, 2021

LOS ANGELES – September 1, 2021 – CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), the crisis response organization co-founded by Sean Penn and Ann Lee, today launched its on-the-ground response and recovery efforts throughout Louisiana to support low-income, high-risk communities most impacted by Hurricane Ida, a category four storm that made landfall in the state on Sunday.


“Hurricane Ida’s devastating impact on households, communities and vital infrastructure, is becoming all the more frequent in the face of climate change,” said Ann Lee, CEO and co-founder of CORE. “Our teams in New Orleans, made up of the men and women from these impacted communities, have been providing testing, vaccines, and needed resources during COVID, and will now provide immediate relief directly to those who need it most. We’re committed to helping the people of Louisiana rebuild stronger and recover from the storm.” 


In coordination with local leaders and community groups, CORE will focus its efforts on the following objectives: 

  • Provide Roof Tarping and Immediate Repair to Damaged Homes

  • Support Community Debris Removal in Underserved Communities

  • Assist NGOs, including World Central Kitchen, on Emergency Food Programs

  • Provide Testing to Collective Shelters

In order to mitigate the effects of the ongoing pandemic, CORE is utilizing its existing New Orleans COVID-19 outreach program, resources, and staff to support local public health agencies with COVID-19 protocols at emergency shelters. This will include offering free COVID-19 testing to evacuees and those affected by the hurricane. 

CORE is also prioritizing roof tarping and home repair in order to keep people safely in their homes, and decrease the need for group shelters — thereby mitigating possible spread of COVID-19.


Wherever The Crisis Is, CORE Is There 

CORE has spent more than a decade responding to disasters around the world, from Haiti to The Bahamas, the United States to India. In March 2020, when the COVID-19 crisis in the United States was just beginning, CORE began mobilizing testing, tracing, and relief operations around the country; including a testing and vaccination effort currently underway in New Orleans. From mass vaccination sites to equity-focused mobile units meant to reach underserved populations with direct access to resources, CORE has, to date, administered nearly 5.4 million. This year, CORE began partnering with local governments and organizations to offer vaccination in vulnerable neighborhoods; over 1.7 million have been administered so far. At the root of CORE’s mission is the need to involve communities in relief efforts, to learn from the individuals they serve about their specific needs, and to hire within the communities where they work. At the moment, CORE continues to run COVID-19 relief operations in the U.S., Haiti, and India; while responding to the recent earthquake in Haiti and now Hurricane Ida in Louisiana.