Here’s a real can of worms…

My friends will tell you that my heart can bleed with the best of them. I mean, I’m all for programs to help the displaced, the needy and whomever — even if it’s their own damn fault they’re struggling. But I don’t think I’m being overly harsh when I say it’s time to start winding down this program instead of extending it.

We’re sorry you can’t come back home just yet. We know you’re displaced, in a strange town (though, after nearly two years, it shouldn’t be so strange anymore) and just trying to make it the best you can. I’m not saying you need to “just get over it,” since we’re all way past tired of hearing that whenever we leave Louisiana. And I’m not directing this at those of you still in FEMA trailers — you’ve got a tough rebuilding battle still going on.

But damn — you gotta work with what you got, y’know? Too many of us who came back had to find a new place to live or work (or both), struggle with finances, bankruptcy and a host of other difficulties. We’ve either managed to make it work or we’ve had to simply get the hell out and start over someplace else. You gotta do what you gotta do.


14 Comments so far

  1. el stevo (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 8:48 am

    I couldn’t agree more. Bravo.

  2. termite (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 9:05 am

    i couldn’t agree more craig. last night i was watching the news and they showed a woman full of rage because the city was baring down on her to ‘clean out’ her home.
    she hadn’t done a thing. it was still in the same shape as when she left it two days before the storm.


  3. K (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

    Agreed. This money gets lumped in with the funds actually being put to use down here as money being spent on New Orleans when in reality it is paying landlords in Houston and Atlanta. If you haven’t figured out a way to pay rent in a year and a half, face it, you’re never going to figure out a way to move back to New Orleans either. You’re a Houstonian now. Pay your rent like everyone else in Houston and quit mooching off these dollars meant to get you on your feet, not to provide you with a free place to stay long after you need the help.

  4. Jack Ware (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 4:50 pm

    Ya know, I would venture to say that those still on rental assistance now have been on various forms of assistance for quite some time. Possibly for generations. I’m not really bothered by that reality since I’ve come to accept it as a truth and people mooching off the system won’t go away in my lifetime.

    What confuses me though is why it’s FEMA’s responsibility. If people needing housing assistance are now living in Houston then wouldn’t they just naturally get on the Houston “Support me I’m not going to work” System? At first, I agree FEMA was necessary until residency was established and the impact to the system would be huge, but we’re coming up on two years.

    I wonder if the Bush administration is just feeling some guilt and doesn’t want the attention from Jesse and his retarded brother Al. Or maybe the bush administration thinks that will help get more votes for Republicans in Louisiana since the Democrats seem intent on making sure that everyone who doesn’t live here anymore gets to vote in local and state elections for the rest of their lives whether they ever move back to Louisiana or not.

  5. Jack Ware (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

    Oh, and for the sake of full disclosure, I have been living in a FEMA trailer for several months and probably will for another few months. So keep that in mind. It may impact my credibility to some degree.

  6. Chris Martel (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 7:19 pm

    I don’t understand why there’s no federal program to help people who have moved back to New Orleans, or want to move back, but can’t afford the 200% rent increases since Katrina. That seems more logical than continuing to subsidize people who are “unable to return.”

  7. mike t. (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

    Hey Termite, I saw that last night as well.
    That woman has had nearly two years to clean up her home and shit.
    Crying and moaning … I didn’t feel sorry for her in the least.

    (something tells me her little check has long gone been spent..)

  8. Colin (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 11:20 pm

    Is it really their own fault? If you have no resources, no one to come home to, and have had the only place you’ve known ripped away from you wouldn’t you still be stuck there?

  9. Stacy (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 8:11 am

    Yes, Colin, to a certain degree it IS their own fault. To better their own situation they should be doing what Craig, Jack, Laureen, and many many many others HAVE been doing. They didn’t sit on their butts waiting for someone to do it for them. They did it and still are doing it for themselves. Too many people wait for someone else to fix all of their problems. I, for one, am very proud of some of these bloggers and the other people that they speak of who are digging in and fixing their situations instead of waiting on someone else. More people should look at them for inspiration.

  10. termite. (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 8:32 am

    well said stacy.
    colin, the bottom line is that we all have to be responsible for our own property and it’s contents.

    we went in asap after the storm to clean my parents and siblings houses. everyone on the block has done this but one, it’s an eyesore.. but the rats love it.

  11. jack Ware (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 9:44 am

    Well thanks Stacy but for me, and I can only speak for myself, but I don’t think excessive profanity and a deranged sense of humor does a role model make….lol

    Back to the point though, I don’t think I’d use the word fault since scavengers are a natural state of things. I mean, there were probably cavemen (and women) who would feign illness to avoid going on a hunt but still expected to get a brontosaurus burger like everyone else. And as long as the tribe’s fat and happy it really isn’t a big deal. But when food and resources get scarce those resources have to be allocated to those in the tribe who contribute to the overall wellbeing of the tribe. It’s just a built in limitation to being a scavenger.

    Thing is, in my analogy the tribe would stand together and tell the scavengers “tough shit”. Or maybe even exile the scavengers out of the tribe for the sake of the survival of the tribe. But then we’re not cavemen anymore (er, well most of us) so the analogy has some short-sighted flaws in it.

    But it does support my thinking that if you can’t get yourself back here and you aren’t really bringing anything to the table with you, then I’d just rather you stay out so I don’t have to look at your non-contributing-to-anything-ass (and there are some exceptions to this since people are still working through shit and just need time to get back on their feet – I’m talking about people who have no intention of getting on their feet). Things are still pretty rough around here so people are sort of on edge. It’s all fun and games until someone gets beat down with a freshly chewed triceratops femur bone.

  12. Stacy (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

    Jack…your killin’ me. You know that right?


    That’s just hilarious.

  13. Laureen (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 7:03 pm

    I have dealt first-hand with some folks receiving this benefit. No one has any sympathy for them anymore. . . I have met some of these folks who are working very hard not to get back to work. I can’t believe they want to extend it yet again. I have a headache.

  14. Katy (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 10:21 pm

    Its really weird that a jobless, obese mother of 4 can sit around all day and get $1400 checks for rent while I have to work my ass off every weekday to make my $1200 rent.

    And, she only pays $400 in rent with Section 8 vouchers, and so her 12 year old boys get $200 Jordans every month.

    The rest goes to Kool Aid, potato chips and her 54″ plasma tv.

    Fuck her.

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