Friday, May 8, 2009

What kind of change is this?

From a NY Times update on the ongoing saga of the Hurricane Katrina recovery:

“I need the trailer,” said Mr. Hammond, 70. “I ain’t got nowhere to go if they take the trailer.”

....workers who assist the homeless are finding more elderly people squatting in abandoned buildings.

Though more than 4,000 Louisiana homeowners have received rebuilding money only in the last six months, or are struggling with inadequate grants or no money at all, FEMA is intent on taking away their trailers by the end of May ...

“All I can say is that this is a temporary program, it was always intended as a temporary program, and at a certain point all temporary programs must end,” said Brent Colburn, the agency’s director of external affairs. He said there would be no extensions.
Brent Colburn, quoted above, worked for the Obama campaign. Obama appointees such as Colburn have only recently taken charge of FEMA -- one of the most mismanaged organizations in US history. Colburn himself was appointed to FEMA on April 14 -- three weeks ago; FEMA's new director, Craig Fugate, was appointed on April 22 -- just two weeks ago. What can these people possibly know of the situation on the ground?

To think that Obama appointees would consent that thousands of trailer residents should be imminently evicted by this most disfunctional government agency? This population of trailer residents! According the the Times, those about to be kicked out of their trailers at the end of May "are elderly, disabled or both, including double amputees, diabetes patients, the mentally ill, people prone to seizures and others dependent on oxygen tanks."

Were victims of the Asian tsunami treated with any more disregard by their governments?


  1. Where are the churches, the community groups, the charities and the philanthropists? FEMA is right - those trailers aren't meant for indefinite housing. And I agree with the implication, too; government cannot be expected to be the backstop for every person in need. I can't believe that I live in the richest nation in the world, and yet the needy victims of a catastrophe are left by their neighbors to live in crappy government housing.

  2. They shouldn't still be in trailers, but apparently no alternatives have been provided.


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