Monday, December 10, 2007

Katrina Homeless Story on NPR

New Orleans Homeless Told to Relocate

There was an interesting story on NPR's All Things Considered tonight (can be found here). One thing that was not mentioned was that the deadline for movement out of the park is National Homeless Memorial Day. The day that we all remember those who passed away over the last year is the last day that over 150 people will be kicked out of one of the Downtown parks in New Orleans. Four days before the most famous birth-as-a-result-of-a-forced-migration story in history is celebrated the officials from New Orleans are kicking out a large number of homeless people. How stupid are these guys? In Cleveland, landlords hold off evictions around Christmas, and I doubt that bankers are delivering move out orders after a foreclosure during the holidays. Why? Because of the extremely negative publicity associated with crushing someone during a time of peace, joy, love, and all that holiday stuff. In addition, the majority of perfectly usable Public Housing in New Orleans is slated for destruction in the next few weeks. By comparison to the destruction heaped on the people of New Orleans by state, local and federal officials, the hurricane was just a hiccup.

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.


yxyxyx said...

I've heard talk about the increasing level of homelessness in New Orleans and that they will soon be forced to leave the park, but it makes me wonder...we are under the impression that public land is for the use of anyone right? Yet an individual without a home is breaking the law if they sleep on private or public land. I see a really serious problem with this.

Graduate said...

Meet Pamela Lichele Lewis, a homeless 4.0 GPA student at Griffin Technical College that was displaced by Hurricane Katrina and is presently sleeping in a 95 Ford Explorer as a resident of Riverdale, Ga. without a source of income. The student, a Katrina survivor, was recently denied food-stamps by Clayton County-DFAS in Jonesboro, Ga. because she is not working at least 20-hours/wk while attending school. And to top things off, a FEMA representative informed the student that her case was closed because THEY did not meet their deadline on February 28, 2007. Therefore, the case was closed as if no further assistance is needed. Not only that, but the Katrina survivor was also denied assistance with housing because she was not on section 8, public housing or living in a HUD home prior to Hurricane Katrina. They are only helping them at this time.

Within the last two years, numerous letters were sent to David Scott, Congressman of Georgia District 13th. His administrator met the displaced victim only to give the victim a case of water and sent back out into the streets to live in an automobile.

When the Katrina survivor spoke to Mayor Phaedra Graham and the City Manager, Iris Jessie, at a mayor's and councilman's meeting that was open to the public, the victim was told that all Katrina victims are being referred to the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross informed Ms. Lewis that they had no more money for the Homeless survivors. This lead the Katrina survivor back to living in her truck.

The Whitehouse and the Speaker of the House also received numerous emails and letters in regards to this matter over the past two years. The Whitehouse informed Ms. Lewis that the Liaison Office will direct this matter to the appropriate agency to have this issue resolved. It has been over two years and Pamela L. Lewis, a Katrina survivor, is still homeless sleeping in her truck without a source of income.

The Katrina survivor is also a Persian Gulf War Veteran that served in Desert Shield Desert Storm in 1991. The Veteran Administration is unable to assist her situation because the survivor does not have a mental disorder, a substance abuse problem nor does she have retirement benefits.

So I ask, Where is the help for the homeless Katrina survivors from the Gulf Coast that are now homeless in other states? Will the survivors ever know again what it feels like to have happy holidays? Will you let old baggage be carried into the new year? Will you contribute and help us put a stop to all of this non-sense by making a difference in Ms. Pamela Lewis' life today?

Please I ask that you get in touch with the government officials in the state of Georgia and urge them to provide the needed assistance for the Katrina survivor. In the meantime, if you would like to make a contribution to a good cause please do so at and send it to If you need any further information, please email me at or