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Rebuilding lives one step at a time
Determination and survival
These Hurricane Katrina survivors used a homemade banner to signal for help. They were stranded for days without food or clean water on the roof of their five-story apartment. The man, who has only one leg, climbed with his crutches.

Rebuilding lives one step at a time

November 2005

Marina Crayton and other students in the physician assistant studies masterís degree program at the Health Science Center continue to assist recent evacuees with rebuilding their lives by helping them to restore their identities. Many lost birth certificates, driverís licenses, wills, Social Security cards, school transcripts, hospital records and proof of insurance during the storm. The studentsí efforts are part of a service project called Reclaim Your Name.

The students determine which papers need to be replaced and then map out a strategy for doing so. They have developed a fine-tuned system for obtaining documents.

"We are trying to help survivors fill out the paperwork necessary to get temporary Texas identification," Crayton said. "If you donít have any ID, you canít get any health care. It is very difficult for these people to get jobs, get aid and get on with their lives. Reclaim Your Name is a place for them to go for support."

The first program of its kind in San Antonio, Reclaim Your Name was established at the Health Science Center two years ago to help homeless people in San Antonio. Assistance is available every Sunday and Tuesday morning at Cafť Corazon in the Travis Park United Methodist Church, 230 E. Travis.

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Updated 7/30/14