Today's mail brought a thank you from the Buras EC. We left warm clothing and infant toddler instruments there. The letter went on to say that residents in Plaquemines Parish have amazing stories of disaster and rebuilding to tell and are grateful when people take the time to listen to their stories. "The Hulse family is one of many familites who lost everything and they really enjoyed talking with you during your stay." Read their story in our blog. The Buras EC gave us meals and use of cots in a shared heated tent for the night.
The City of New Orleans has initiated a "Good Neighbor" program. Thousands of residents—many of whom are elderly and disabled--are facing the possibility of having their homes repossessed by the City, if their properties are not gutted, mold abated, and boarded up. Instead of providing the needed resources to those who need assistance, the local government is referring residents to non-profit organizations like Common Ground. Lower Ninth Ward residents have faced tremendous obstacles in their efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent levee failures. Following the storm, a military occupation and a curfew prevented residents from returning to rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward. The City has been painfully slow in restoring basic services to this area, such as water, electricity, and phones. Many residents view the government as standing in the way rather than helping people return home.
I carry my Palm Pilot now to show pictures and tell people about the trip. It's simple and effective. Some ask for the blog address for more information. Is there any other way to reach critical mass except one at a time? Is there some small way you too can help?