DisasterHousingSearch.org links disaster victims with emergency housing hosts

Established six years ago as a free service to connect victims of Hurricane Katrina and subsequent tropical storms with homeowners volunteering to provide free temporary housing, HurricaneHousingSearch.org is now available to people driven from their homes by natural disasters of any kind under its new name, DisasterHousingSearch.org.

“This is a 100 percent grassroots, people-helping-people effort,” said Joel Lesser, CEO of the non-profit site’s sponsor Creative NetVentures of Atlanta. “When we started the site to help refugees from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, we never dreamed how big and ongoing the response from people willing to devote a spare room, garage or other space to help strangers made homeless by the whims of Mother Nature would be. “Today, six years, many hurricanes, and thousands of helped families later, we are responding to requests from many generous temporary housing donors concerned about the plight of people driven from their homes by floods, tornadoes, and other acts of God by broadening the service to cover victims of any natural disaster, not just hurricanes.”

Organized by state, DisasterHousingSearch.org offers a simple way for homeowners to list their available space and for individual victims, FEMA officials, Red Cross directors, and other care providers to access them.

“We want families who are displaced by hurricanes, floods, tornados, fires and other natural disasters to know that DisasterHousingSearch.org is, and will continue to be, available to help them locate temporary housing,” Lesser noted. “All of us who populate cyberspace talk about the ‘internet community’ so much that the phrase sometimes has very little meaning.

DisasterHousingSearch.org is our ongoing effort to make that concept a reality at critical moments of great need. Moments when a sense of community — on and off the internet — is desperately needed.”