A Backward Underclass View at Katrina

Katrina

August 29, 2016 will mark the 11th year since Katrina. I wrote and tried to submit this article to a local newspaper the summer of 2006. I could not afford the $3,500 dollars a day it cost to submit.

The state of Louisiana and the Federal Government has chosen an agency to administer the billions of dollars needed to help homeowners rebuild. I don’t know anything about these people or their track record. I do understand that the state’s track record is not good and that their record, in and out of state, is reason to question their trustworthiness. Our local government’s trustworthiness is born of the state government.

During and after Katrina, our Federal government failed us also. There was fraud and mismanagement by the people, local government, state government and federal government. Because of decisions and mistakes made, I am where I am today and that’s not in a good place or situation. I am better off than most. I’m back in New Orleans managing to pay rent, mortgage, all the bills I had pre-Katrina, and the highest Entergy bills I have ever had in my life. I won’t be able to handle this much longer; bankruptcy may become an option for my wife and I in the near future. We have also discussed separation and divorce after over 35 years of marriage. When someone loses everything they’ve worked for all their lives, it can put a strain on their future outlook. What I am experiencing now makes me untrusting of the agency chosen by the state and approved by the federal government.

I lived with my youngest daughter in Atlanta until I met with my insurer’s supplementary adjuster in December 2005. After we met I was able to show that my fallen ceilings were the result of wind and rain damage, not flood waters. We were granted additional monies for damages and additional living expenses for up to 12 months. We moved back to New Orleans in February 2006. By April 2006, I received a phone call from my insurer informing me that we had exhausted our A.L.E. This information was given to me after we sent paper work to the insurer showing we had paid $1700.00 for our first and last month rent. We also had to send proof that we paid to have our utilities turned on. After approving what was sent in we received a reimbursement check. I no longer have trust in government nor private agency. I asked for something in writing and was sent an explanation as to why my insurer had reconsidered my claim and decided the damages would be split between my homeowner insurance and my flood insurance. This private agency allowed $25.00 a day for my wife and I every day that we stayed with my daughter. They claimed that the $4000.00 + check we got in Atlanta, that we used to come home and find a place and furnish it, was A.L.E payments for the months we were in Georgia. I was given a phone number to call if I wanted to appeal. There was no time to appeal, and the appeal line was long. I was forced to request rental assistance from FEMA, who had denied me before because I was insured. My wife had called them at least one hundred times in Georgia for a trailer or rental assistance.

I thank God and thanked Miss Dorsey, who was my 4th grade teacher at McDonough #6 in uptown New Orleans. In spite of the fact that when we got new text books there was no place to sign our names, year and date in the front columns of our books because it was already full of names and dates. Miss Dorsey, on her own time, taught me and many other children to read and comprehend after school was out. I don’t know if she is still alive, but I thanked her every time I saw her up until a few years ago. Her gift, although I hated her for keeping me in after school, was a blessing for me, my children and grandchildren. With that gift, given over 50 years ago, I was able to, through appeal and appeal of my appeal, get rental assistance from a federal agency that denied me three times because its comprehension was not very good. Many people who were displaced and affected by Katrina and the education offered in the New Orleans Public School system, pre-Katrina, don’t have the basic reading skills necessary to know and communicate the information necessary to get the help they need and deserve. There should be an agency to address and consider that particular handicap that the under-educated and under class will face in their attempts to return home.

I was approved for rental assistance over three months ago and it is time to reapply. I hoped not to have to reapply because I was told that this agency that is charged to allocate funds for the Road Home will start allocating monies in August 2006. Well, I wasn’t called in by them in August, and September is about to end. I really don’t trust this invisible agency that has really said nothing to the people affected by this admitted man made, life-destroying event. I only hear from them through rumors. The state and local leaders announce that things are in place, will be in place soon. The Road to Recovery is on going now. I don’t see anything going on from where I am here in New Orleans. I listen to a conservative talk radio station that I feel gave insightful information and had decision makers as guest. The guest representing that secret agency is named Walter Leger. About a month after, Mr. Leger represented himself as someone that’s inside and understands the agency’s direction and intentions. He was blind sided by the same group of people that we must depend on for aid. Our state and local leaders said checks will come out by August. Months earlier we were informed that the registration for the monies that were being approved by the federal Government would be distributed faster with early registration. Instead on live radio, Mr. Leger admitted that the rumors of the additional application was true and he didn’t know anything about it until he check out the rumors. Nobody knows what this group of people are doing and I wonder if they know how to handle a job such as this. While I wait to see, I must deal with FEMA’s rental assistance program.

FEMA has a new form letter that I believe they are sending to all applicants for rental assistance. This application represents the opinion of the people I saw in Houston at a Town Hall meeting about Katrina evacuees. It reflects the opinion of Houston’s mayor concerning putting a time limit on help given to New Orleanians. Some talk radio host have been very unkind and unsympathetic to any and everybody affected. A part-time or ex-talk radio personality has justified arming and preparing to kill New Orleanians to make a profit with his gun store. One local parish council passed a law to keep some New Orleanians out of the parish. What are the people going to do and where will they live in America? Imagine that for whatever reason, you could not read nor write, you had no computer or computer skills, no fax, no money, no life long friends and nobody in your family of five that had finished high school. Your oldest child is twelve, but her reading and comprehension is not what it could be because the neighborhood school failed her as it did you in the 9th grade. You are in a strange city and don’t know anybody. You and your wife had worked in New Orleans in a service related job for the last 15 years. Imagine you and your wife never being confronted with a real need to read and comprehend for those 15 years. All you and she had to do to make a living was to be helpful, courteous and kind to the public. Life was easy in the Big Easy. Imagine in this strange place it is hard to find employment because neither of you can read or write and you are from New Orleans. Now, your jobs may be available back home but you lived in the Lower Nine. The small house that you could afford to buy is destroyed. You can’t get a trailer because the utilities are not back on in your area. You and your family were taken off the roof and you lost your car in the flood. You are waiting for something good to happen, a job for you and your wife. You are looking for a letter from the Road Home people, hoping FEMA sends a letter for a trailer in a trailer park near home. You have to look for the mailman because you can’t afford a telephone. You are living off $200 or $300 monthly sacrificed by your mother. There are people in situations like these and worse, thousands of them. Imagine being in such a situation and its time to request continued rental assistance. Imagine getting the same form letter I got from FEMA. The letter must be answered in writing in 14 days or you will be denied assistance. These are the questions and explanations you must supply.

1. A realist housing plan to promote self-sufficiency, on a separate sheet of paper briefly describe your plan to obtain affordable permanent housing, for examples secure a loan, hire a contractor or find a place to live. Include the earliest projected date you believe you can fulfill your plan. In your housing plan, what steps are you taking to promote yourself to become self-sufficient and be able to afford your own rent.

2. Lease with complete rental information.

3. Verifiable landlord contact information, such as address, telephone number and name of landlord.

If you can read and write and comprehend, you can’t even imagine the problems faced by this family.

I can without much effort, write and explain that I have turned my insurance proceeds over to my mortgage company. I have contacted my demolition company and they have contacted my insurer, and my insurer has contacted me to let me know that I have 3 years to do demolition and elevation. I can honestly write that my recovery is delayed by the Road to Recovery. I can’t write a projected date to fulfill my plan because the people charged to implement the Recovery Plan are still planning. I can write and explain that I lost 2 trucks and a retail business to flood waters. I can explain that in spite of the fact, pre-Katrina I had an excellent credit history, I was denied a loan by the SBA because I had no income after the storm. I can explain that after I lost my driver’s license during the evacuation, I lost my hazmat endorsement. By federal law, I had to be retested and now must wait 6 to 8 weeks for a terrorist threat investigation. For self-sufficiency, after being self-employed for the last 17 years I am prepared, at age 59, to do the type of work I did at 39, if given the opportunity. I am not stressed by FEMA’s attitude about people who still need help. I can and will fight for what I lost due to the mistakes of the government. I worry about the people who can’t fight for their rights and have no one to help them.

I really don’t know who is in charge or why the monies are not getting to the people that need it…..yesterday. I believe that the monies are available and being issued out now, but not to the people to rebuild. One reason given for the necessity of an additional application was to determine how many applicants were low income. It was said that you could leave the income area blank until called in for the interview. According to Mr. Leger, this income inquiry was mandated by HUD and federal laws because one-half of the billions allocated must be spent on low income people affected by the flood. I believe applications for that one-half of the billions is being filed and granted each day. Agencies, non-profit organizations and public utilities are filing and being granted grants to aid the low income affected. So far, the low income people affected have received an average of twenty-three thousand, on paper, not in hand. I can see that whoever is in charge knows how to deal with crowd control without guns since Katrina. The policy is don’t come until I call you, one-at-a-time. One at-a-time, drop by drop, drip, drip, drip. It is not working. I have seen commercials advertising Governor Blanco’s Road Home Program. I’ve heard Mr. Leger say that it must be done by HUD’s rules. Is HUD in charge? I hope not, I don’t have trust in the federal government. I sure hope HUD is not involved because being part of the federal government, they may redirect the monies whenever they feel the need. The governor, I think said, the money is in the bank. The bank, that is where I would like for my recovery money to go. I trust my bank and my bank has shown trust in me. About 10 years ago, after checking my credit and payment history, they sent me a check for $15,000. I didn’t request it or fill out an application for it, they just sent it and all I had to do was sign and deposit it. I appreciated it and could use the money at the time. I paid them back early. My bank, about a month before Katrina sent me another check for substantially more money. I signed and deposited that check and planned at get another truck and garment business for my wife. Katrina came the Monday she was to have her grand opening. My wife and I would have suffered without that money. Even though I have an additional bill, no trucks, and no store, I’m glad my bank thought about me. My insurance proceeds are with this institution. They will make sure that I am who I am and won’t allow me to misuse our money. My bank will make sure I rebuild the property we both have an interest in.

To whom it may concern, to whomever is in charge. Allow me and others similar and like me to proceed around the drip on Poydras St. Please establish an express line for the people who need another avenue around the Road to Recovery.

Junko

60 comments

china man 5 years ago

Hi Junko. I am glad to find this hub and your genuine and well written piece. I am just some white guy in China - far removed from your place and situation but I followed the horrendous treatment of your city with some interest and a generally appalled sense of disbelief.

I do hope you make it through the hardships placed before you and though it is woth very little you will remain in my thoughts and wishes for a long time.

Chris.


junko profile image

junko 5 years ago Author

Thanks Chris for your best wishes: God is good and there were blessings in my burdens


Mary Wells 5 years ago

Thank you junko, for being the voice for the underclass.


junko profile image

junko 5 years ago Author

Thank you mary, I'm inspired by your compliment, please pass back again. Are you from New Orleans? Hurricane season is right around the corner.


Moderndayslave profile image

Moderndayslave 5 years ago

I hope things have gotten better for you.


junko profile image

junko 5 years ago Author

I was able to demolish my old and rebuild a new home. Thanks for stopping by, Slave. Everything in my life is better than it was when I wrote this article.


Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA

Wow! So glad for you that things are now better than this. May God continue to bless and restore. Thanks for your comment on my hub.


junko profile image

junko 5 years ago Author

Thanks again, Ms Dee God has truly blessed me and was doing so when he took all my worldly things. I worried about the underclass and for caring he blessed me and allowed me to live and not die. I'm a living testimony. God has and will bless you for caring. The creator don't make personal appearences anymore. If you can be used to do the will of God concerning the lease of us, you will have favor.


Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA

I so appreciate your kind words and reminder. Thank you Junko.


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

Hope things are better than they were when you wrote this hub! Whew! Living in Florida,I know that this very thing (not counting the levies...) could happen to us. The only thing we hear over this way about the rebuilding is if Brad Pitt is in the news about his project. The plight of the people of New Orleans is not publicized well enough and you know how long public interest lasts without constant reminders...only until the next big thing. Hoping that your family are doing well and that life is finally moving forward for you all.


junko profile image

junko 4 years ago Author

Connie ,Thanks for talking and following. We that lived must continue to stuggle to live, against all odds.


Jay 4 years ago

Thanks, for being the voice of the people!

Jay


junko profile image

junko 4 years ago Author

Thank you Jay, for your kimd words


jandee profile image

jandee 4 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

What an inspiring read. I know you and your wife will realise that this utterly rotten establishment we all seem to have to tolerate,this capitalist Demon, cannot divide people who know the truth of the system-even when natural events intervene there should still be safety systems in place, keep well and good luck,

best from jandee


junko profile image

junko 4 years ago Author

Thank you taking the time to read and understand the struggle of a few hundred thousand Americans that were left homeless for years.


atomicrant333 profile image

atomicrant333 4 years ago

I sat at my desk in Florida and watched this happen on my computer, the report was on the Superdome, I was terrified for these people. My house was being repaired after being flooded and me and my family contractor wanted to take the truck and head for New Orleans, I was stopped. They said I did not realsie how dangerous it was there. I did not realise how horrific it really was until i became friends with a man who lost his daighter to suicide after katrina, she was a school teacher. Those people where trapped. Why could we not sent the army in there to lift them out? Does anyone know why? I am afraid because this is the United States not a third world country, how did this happen? I pray for you and your family. I hope you stay with your wife. I did not expect to go through so many tissues today..;)


junko profile image

junko 4 years ago Author

atomicrant, Thanks for giving a care. My wife and I are fine,today. I hope that nothing like that happens to hundreds of thousands of people and an American City in this political climate.


atomicrant333 profile image

atomicrant333 4 years ago

..if we could just weild our reality and stop fearing impending doom I wonder if things would change or things could be prevented. I wonder if the reality we live in is a result of a collective agreement of what is, or if there really is some evil cabal.


junko profile image

junko 4 years ago Author

atomicrant, "if we could just ????? our reality" What doe's the word " weild" mean? Excuse my ignorance, please.


atomicrant333 profile image

atomicrant333 4 years ago

hahaha! Sorry, I geuss not everyone is raised "illuminati". I will explain more when I have had my coffee.


Gulf Coast Sun profile image

Gulf Coast Sun 4 years ago from Gulf of Mexico

I read your story with sadness for you and your wife. True, our government doesn't have their priorities in order. Fema messed up badly here in Florida in 2005 after a major hurricane and we still see empty Fema trailers packed away on empty land just rotting away. Also there were people here who received money but was found later on that they really didn't qualify for it and our government was trying to retrieve it back, but some just disappeared. You and your wife have long personal history, and separating or divorcing will not erase that history but make a mockery of all your years together as well as making our government WIN in breaking you apart. Please don't let that happen. Let these life adversities make you both stronger give you the strength to live out the rest of your lives together. Let the personal products that you lost be insufficient. We've been in your shoes and refuse to let anything get between our marriage. Kathleen


junko profile image

junko 4 years ago Author

Kathleen, You expressed real empathy and compassion for my wife I in this simular and shared experience of lost of material things, I felt your kindness and true concern. My wife and I are still together and we have all things new, including a newly built house. I was successful in battles with the local, state, and federal governments and I believe my struggles shined a light on the plight of the underclass, so God blessed my seeds and my marriage. I hope we can communicate and enlighten each other. (iron sharpens iron) Thank you Again, Katleen.


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 4 years ago from Central Virginia

What a powerful story Junko. I am so glad to read that you and your wife are safe and back in a home together. So many have not yet made it there. I have never experienced loss to the degree of so many in your state and cannot imagine the trauma. My city did recently experience a rather rare weather even called a derecho. Many homes were destroyed by falling trees from sustained, straight line winds. The temperatures here were in the triple digitis and 65% of my city was without electricity. Had it not been for the kindness and generosity of churches and a couple of charitable organizations, we would have been in real trouble. Our city and state government did little other than clear the debris from roadways. FEMA showed up two weeks later to determine if our city qualified for some clean-up funding. Where were they when people needed water, ice, food, and shelter? I strongly believe that those of us who are literate and compassionate must be the voice for those that cannot speak for themselves. You are setting the bar high and I applaud you.


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 4 years ago from Central Virginia

Junko, you might find this hub I wrote a few days ago ineresting. It is about the storm I mentioned in my earlier comment to you.

http://hubpages.com/health/NatureSendsAMessage...


junko profile image

junko 4 years ago Author

Thank you Irc, for the comments and sharing your experience with the Almighty"s winds.


kaiyan717 profile image

kaiyan717 4 years ago from West Virginia

I was living in the Gulf Coast when Katrina hit, Pearl River County. We were not under mandatory evacuation because it wasn't supposed to hit us directly, however at the end, the eye turned and we took a direct hit. I stayed through the aftermath, the martial law, the craziness. If I learned one thing, it was, we are alone. I think everyone belives we have this great safety net, the government will save us. A bad assumption and Katrina solidified the obvious. We have to take care of ourselves and rely on ourselves. I hope things are getting better. I moved away a few years ago and I am thankful for the life experience of the storm, I try to take positive from the negative. The "system" is broken, those who went through the storm know this. Self-reliance is the only way.

And Irc, I was in West Virginia when that storm hit. First time I had seen gas lines in years. We were out of electric for a couple of weeks, nothing near the 2 1/2 months with Katrina, but the feel was there. It felt like a mini Katrina. I hope you fared well. Nature is something we cannot hide or fight, we must all solely be prepared with provisions to take care of ourselves and our family.


junko profile image

junko 4 years ago Author

Kaiyan, thanks for the comment. We have share an experience of being forced to survive or die. Many of us that lived, see those time as positive in the sense of personal lost and recovery. We know that sometimes we may again be called on to make decisions that will affect the future of our love ones and friends. A positive thing for us is, it won't be our first rodeo. Thank again and stay strong.


Niteriter profile image

Niteriter 4 years ago from Canada

Thank you for being an inspiration to those of us who don't always appreciate how fortunate we are. I wish you well as you continue to move forward. Your courage and faith are your most dependable allies.


junko profile image

junko 4 years ago Author

Niteriter: Thank you for the encouraging comment. I would like to say compassion is also one of the many allied blessing. My fight to recover was personal, but because I thought to include the plight of the underclass God truly blessed me with a new and better home and gave me more life when death called for me.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Your story made me sad and angry at the same time. Our government was slow to act. The poor and the middle-class are looked over and it is getting worse. I am glad everything turned out well for you and your wife. Enjoyed reading your hub. Thank you for sharing..


junko profile image

junko 4 years ago Author

I thank you always for exploring and your empathy. Yes, the poor and the middleclass are looked over and it don't matter if you are Republican or Democrat, Capitalism exist by greed not by empathy.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

The treatment you and others were forced to take is outragious! I am so very sorry that you had to endure this madness and have gone through so much. Bless you for being the voice for so many others. I'm so very happy to hear that you are back in a home with your wife. You are such an inspiration. I am a better person for having met you here on HP. Sending you peace and love.


junko profile image

junko 4 years ago Author

vocalcoach here on HP, YOU support, promote, and coach the voices of other writers. I'm honored that you stop by to lift me up. Peace and love and blessings to you my friend.


Express10 profile image

Express10 3 years ago from East Coast

This is strangely shocking and not so at the same time. I am happy that blessings have come your way since this tragic time and I pray they continue coming for you.


junko profile image

junko 3 years ago Author

Thank you for your kind words and understanding, Express10. I really believe that my blessing came because I cared about thousands of people I didn't know. Thanks for stopping by and talking, peace and blessings to you and pray for Sandy's victims.


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey

Hello Junko,

I am happy to hear that you and your wife are still together, and that your life is coming together again. I missed a lot of what happened during Hurricane Katrina, because my childhood friend was dying, and I was spending her last days with her. But I was shocked at how slowly the government reacted, and how badly they treated hard working people, and how much they let you all down. And they keep doing it in all other disasters too. Since then, we had Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed many miles of the NJ shore, and left many homeless. Much of our state depends on tourism and the shore. Although I live 2 hrs. from there, it's not as far as the crow flies, and we lived without electricity for one week when it was so cold. I can't imagine how people forced to live under these circumstances for long can endure it, especially the elderly and the young children. How do you get your medications? Where do you start when you lost everything? It's so overwhelming. In NJ, many of the shore homes were vacation homes, and people had other homes to go back to, so I don't feel so sorry for them. But people ignore all the people in Northern NJ went through, we still have people cutting trees that were downed, and my friend just had the roof put back on her house last week. The government just doesn't care about poor and middle class working people. Thankfully there are people like you who speak out. My town doesn't even have an emergency plan at all, or a shelter, which I addressed at a town meeting and got ignored. And now look at the poor people in OK, after that awful tornado. I saw the food the Red Cross gives them, and it's so little. And for how long do the agencies help people in dire need? Our country has to get it together and we all have to help one another.


junko profile image

junko 3 years ago Author

Jean Bakula, Thank you for stopping by and talking.I know these days under this Presidency the Federal Government and Federal Spending has been said to be the cause of our economic problems, don't you believe that is the truth. The Federal government has been the only and best aid and support of The Great Unwashed. The Federal Government supplied the Billions to rebuild to the State Government, the decision made by the State Government failed the people of New Orleans and denied the return of hundreds of thousands of Liberal voters to the city of New Orleans. Now politics say the Federal Government can't afford to help cities rebuild without taking help from people who needs help somewhere else. All the econmic help the Federal Government gives to the growth of Capitalism will continue to grow, socialistic help for the 47%er's must be eliminated and they must come together and help each other. There is something wrong with that picture. During Katrina there was no Tea Partty in Washington, now the Nation and the people have been divided. I.m glad the boardwalk is rebuilt and I hope the North East Coast and OK gets the help from the Federal Government to rebuild and the President gets the tax revenue he needs to be President,or atlease a credit card. The Creator has a Master Plan. May God Bless you and yours, Jean.


tsmog profile image

tsmog 2 years ago from Escondido, CA

A very moving article junko. I would like to add more, yet I am both ashamed of our bureaucracy and taken back with your experiences. It is sad for all. Thank you for sharing and God's blessings upon you for keeping on keeping on offering us inspiration to keep on in our own dilemmas.

tim


junko profile image

junko 2 years ago Author

tsmog Thanks for the comment and follow. As you confront your dilemmas you support others with the same dilemmas and the God in you gives you the power to overcome.


Goodpal profile image

Goodpal 2 years ago

I profoundly empathize with the pain you had to go through for a God send disaster. I hope and wish that you don't again face such a situation in life.

After going through your well expressed narration, I noted that human-beings suffer in the same way when calamities fall upon them. Governments and bureaucracies are pretty much the same - filled with frauds, delays and apathy. In this aspect, living in the US is no big consolation except that it has more cash than other nations. I only hope that money can prevent all human suffering coming from disasters, wars and invasions.

I sincerely wish that some magic happens and natural disasters events become once in million years affair. My sympathies will always remains with suffering people of the planet wherever they are.

Thanks for sharing an important piece of your life.


junko profile image

junko 2 years ago Author

Goodpal: your empathy and selflessness for the human suffering in the world must be a constant concern. May the Creator grant you love and peace of mind in the mist of your caring. Thank you for stopping by and talking. Please come again and stay strong.


ope joe 2 years ago

always on-top of and well informe.


junko profile image

junko 2 years ago Author

ope joe, thanks for the encouraging words


conradofontanilla 2 years ago

Yolanda or Haiyan that hit the Philippines last year is much stronger than Katrina. Both made people suffer. In Tacloban City or in the whole province of Leyte people have nowhere to go because vast tracks of lands belong to a few people who have inherited titles awarded by Spain during the Spanish colonial period. Had these lands been reverted to the state of the Philippines there should be more than enough land to accommodate the poor made homeless by Yolanda. There might be a lot of donations for Yolanda's victims but where to erect a house when land is owned by a few people like the clan of Mayor Romualdez? You can count by the finger who own Leyte, vast tracks of land planted to sugar cane that are exempted from the land reform law of the Philippines. The ruling class would not break up these haciendas or latifundas.


junko profile image

junko 2 years ago Author

I am sorry to see you discount the pain and suffering of poor x slaves and hold up the pain and suffering caused by Spain and stronger storms then Katrina. The need for redistribution of wealth is not just a Philippine need, its worldwide. Your comment disregarded what I wrote to express your personal rant about Spain.


Walter Simmons 17 months ago

After 10 years the pain is still with me. Katrina took my everything.


Shelia Washington 15 months ago

Junko, I've been crying everyday. My whole life changed and I still feel the pain. I lost friends and family. I know I am not alone but I feel so alone.


junko profile image

junko 15 months ago Author

Shelia you may feel alone but, trust me you're not alone. Hundreds of thousand of New Orleanians suffered what you went through at the same time you suffered your pain and lost. Many people just as you still feel the pain after only ten years, the pain is normal for the survivors of such a great human lost and tragedy. I would say go to where the survivors will gather and share your story and listens to the story of others to realize you are not alone. The wound will close one day and the pain will stop but, the scars will be with us for the rest of our lives. I say, don't be alone go out and hear the story of others. My hope for you is peace of mind. Stop back by after this has passed and tell me how things turned out for you, I know it will be all right


Shelia Washington 15 months ago

Junko I touched The President's hand today!!! I am so excited!!! This was a good day! I just wanted you to know!


junko profile image

junko 15 months ago Author

Shelia I am so glad to hear you touched the President. I saw him in the lower 9th ward. Stay up and don't get down.


Shelia Washington 15 months ago

Thanks for everything Junko!


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 7 months ago from Yorktown NY

Junko, I read your story and am sorry for your loss. Katrina was a natural disaster that unfortunately was too devestating for our government to handle. You may not believe it but this happens ever so often in history. Check out what happen in Galveston Tx. around the turn of the century. The town was wiped out and read about how they rebuild afterwards without FEMA and government intervention... I hope you learn a lesson from this experience. Anyone cannot rely on our government as the first line of defense. We need to always take care of our selves first and foremost. The government, by design is a huge bureacracy set up to handle one type of disaster. It is limited in both talent and resources. The red cross and catholic charities would do better in these type of disasters.

I hope you will rethink some of your political believes. We here in the Northeast went thru something similar though not as devestating in hurricane Sandy a few years ago. Some of the shoreline homes are still boarded up waiting for FEMA to act.


junko profile image

junko 7 months ago Author

Thanks for your concern jackclee but I over came. Tens of thousands didn't over come to rebuild and return to their homes. Most people who suffer natural disasters such as Galveston, New Jersey, and New Orleans need more help than the red cross and catholic charities can offer. The people needs local state and federal government help. When the federal government sends money to the states in disaster situations the Governors apply states rights to who and where the money goes. Some state governors don't make good decisions and the people affected suffer more then they should. If I rethink some of my political believes I have I still believe the far right conservative goals is to force the disenfranchisement of the underclass by not paying any taxes and forcing the great unwashed and underclass to Eat Cake. That's my view from the underclass. Thanks for commenting.


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 7 months ago from Yorktown NY

Junko, I can only say you have a distorted view of what conservatives and conservatism is about. You can read some of my hubs here to see what I mean. Good luck.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 5 months ago

Junko, I just now found your story, and I understand more of where you are coming from. I hope you world is much better now. I know it doesn't comfort you to know that many of those FEMA trailers parked in my state years ago ended up in the hands of people wealthy enough to buy them for lakeside vacation property. And that was after they had been rehabilitated because their contamination caused illness among many who were rightfully issued them.


junko profile image

junko 5 months ago Author

MizBejabbers I am glad you found my story and now better understand where I am coming from. I wondered what was done with those thousands of Formaldehyde laced trailers. I still wonder why and how did the federal government make the decision to allow these hazardous trailers to be given to the poor people of New Orleans? Thank you for stopping by and commenting.


Tara Mapes profile image

Tara Mapes 5 months ago

Junko,

Your triumph swimming upstream against the strong currents of the government is inspiring. Reading your story was like reading a letter written home to a family member across states in the old days. Sadness, fear, patience, hopelessness, courage, and strength shine through in your message. It was intimate and maddening to read. I am lucky to have crossed paths with such a bright soul. I wish you many blessings for your future. I know you already count them, but I hope one day there are too many to count. Much love to you.


junko profile image

junko 5 months ago Author

Back at you and yours Tara love, peace and happiness. Your praise is for The God in me that gave me that victory.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Hello Junko....I am glad to have met you. I see many of your hubs that I'd be interested in reading. So, I followed your suggestion to read this hub in order to understand your profile.

What an incredibly difficult & frustrating ordeal you and your family suffered for so long. I admire your strength and determination.

Junko, I am totally appalled to learn of how the government fails to provide the assistance needed, when it is needed, to those who need it the very most. But I'm not surprised. The government everywhere at every level can screw up the most basic and self-explanatory programs.

I agree with you in terms of your "distrust"....this is a realistic issue. From the Fed Gov to the State to the Local.....too many hands, not enough brains and most of all, a serious lack of compassion & humanity.

We are on our own for sure. Americans must stick together through the good times and the bad. We need to always be ready to lend our hand in whatever way we may help.

I wish you health & happiness. I am glad this is behind you now.

Peace, Paula


junko profile image

junko 3 months ago Author

Thank you Paula for taking the time to read and comment and thanks for your good wishes. How every in Louisiana it August and the flood water has come back. The damage is more wide spread and New Orleans was spared this time and the surrounding areas that was spared when New Orleans was flooded now has flooded some areas for the first time. Since Katrina and Sandy the Republican controlled House and Senate has declared the Country is in too much debt to deal adequately with disasters and diseases like the Zika virus. They are on another Recess anyway. The trust issue will be on display when they come back to work or should I say they come back to Governmentlessness. We will see what happens anyway, thanks again.

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    Storytellersrus 3 years ago from Stepping past clutter

    junko, I cannot believe that there is a city of illiterates in this country. I knew there were many, but thought they were scattered across the states. Reading your words offers insight into the issues of communication and allocation that I was clueless about. It brings to mind all the Republican congressmen who are claiming misuse in allocation of funds for the poor. It illustrates that it isn't the poor who are misusing the funds, but those in charge who do not understand how to get the correct information to distribute funds accurately. Oh dear. I appreciate your teacher, Ms Dorsey, for giving you the tools to tell those of us far removed from such poverty what it is all about. Thank you. Now I have to figure out what I can do besides give you a Thumbs Up and an Awesome rating!


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    junko 3 years ago Author

    Storytellersrus, White Collar Fraud and Corruption is one of the biggest cause of Federal, State, and local crime in America. Laws and Policies that allows fraud and corruption are passed and made by elected criminals. Thank you, for your understanding and comment.

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