Friday, November 2, 2007

Agency slow to hand out Texas hurricane aid

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It has been 3 years since Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi making Texas to be the home for the majority of the evacuees from New Orleans. Followed by Rita the evacuees have been under stress by problems created by the displacement of their residence, most importantly their families.

After the hurricane had passed all there has been was pure desolation, with out their home they were faced with several issues including the inadequate amount of money for living. The response from FEMA in the early stages was to hand out the money loaded debit cards to the individuals who presented with an ID card, which resulted disastrously, the people who needed the most help were turned back for lack of identification or they were just too far away from the centers for this type of aid.

Fast forward a year on May of 2006, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs was awarded $42.6 million to help with the hurricane, in which the money was to be allocated to repair/ rebuild the damaged homes, four months later in September, only 13 homes have been built and 1.1 million dollars spent in the project; Unsatisfying more than 4000 families who have applied for this particular aid.

Came April of 2007 there was another addition money awarded to Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, 428 million dollars for hurricane recovery programs. With this amount of money many would say yes we can recover the damages done by both Katrina and Rita. But things are going as slow as it can get the money does not have a chance to be allocated to the families in need until the early months of 2008 because of a not finished contract with a firm that will be building the homes of the evacuees. What I don’t understand is not how long the families have been waiting but rather how we let it happen as individuals to be part of a society who is in charge of this decision making ladders.

We have moved on hearing about the news and the catastrophic state the hurricane has left these places, but we must not forget this could have happened to us, to our family. Once we have that mentality in our head may be things will go faster for all those families who have to move away from their home, their neighborhoods, and their beloved cities. I think it is time for evacuees to have some peaceful time I think they have see enough of this hardship it is time for all of us to carry a part, allocate the money swiftly for them to rebuild their homes.

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