Evacuee Assistance

"I feel bad, real bad! We're tired. We want our normal life and it's hard."

Since Hurricane Katrina, Daniel McDonald and about a dozen other evacuee families have been making the best of a bad situation. Having lost everything in the storm, at least three of the families have been living in one two bathroom house with relatives. The others are also staying with relatives in the area awaiting the arrival of portable trailers from FEMA.

Each time they call they're told, "Somebody's coming, somebody's coming, and nobody ever shows up," says McDonald.

About a month after the storm McDonald and others in the area say they prepared land in front of a relative’s house to house the trailers.

"We spent the money that they've given us. We've done the things we were supposed to have done and it seems like nothing's going on," says New Orleans evacuee Kenneth Roach.

Since October the property that Roach is talking about has been cleared off, ready to house eight FEMA trailers. Right now there's only one FEMA trailer on it which was moved to the site two weeks ago. However, the problem is that the owner can't get in it!

"No, I can't get in it. They won't give me a key because I can't get lights on. I can't get lights on because they say they need more paperwork," says New Orleans evacuee Kathylean Pitts.

Paperwork meaning proof of a sale, something which Pitts says she cannot get!

"At the courthouse they say they need a bill of sale. It's not a bill of sale because I'm not buying it. I'm borrowing it for 18 months from FEMA!"

Officials from the FEMA public affairs office in Mississippi tell us that the initial plan was to have all storm victims in need in FEMA trailers by the end of this year, a goal which they say they're still trying to meet.

Meanwhile, as the evacuees we talked to await trailers from FEMA, they say they can't come a moment to soon!

"We have families and we want to get everything resolved," says Roach.


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