Operation Hope Inc. and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have announced the formation of Project Restore Hope, an economic recovery initiative for Hurricane Katrina victims that includes assistance in deferring mortgage payments.The project will provide economic assistance as well as free financial counseling online, in communities housing disaster evacuees, at FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Los Angeles, and over the phone from call center facilities in Dallas and Poway, Calif. Project Restore Hope will be managed through OHI's emergency recovery division, Hope Coalition America, which is recruiting "Hope Corps volunteers" with financial and accounting backgrounds. The volunteers will provide assistance in deferring mortgage payments, working with creditors, and filing insurance claims, as well as emergency budget guidance and credit management. "FEMA has formed a relationship with Operation Hope and Hope Coalition because they offer a unique and much-needed set of services, aimed at limiting the economic impact on individuals affected by these disasters," said David Garratt, acting director of FEMA's Recovery Division. OHI can be found online at http://www.operationhope.org.

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