The New Homeless in Louisiana..Post Katrina  

drumdude 57M
5 posts
6/26/2006 7:33 pm
The New Homeless in Louisiana..Post Katrina

Ok, folks....I'm back. Sorry for my absence, but it couldn't be helped. I've been back and forth to New Orleans many times since my last transmission, and basically not much has changed! There are still hundreds of homes that have not had any changes made to them since late October-That is to say they haven't been condemned, razed, rebuilt or otherwise upgraded-They still remain as they were...Dull, lifeless, shadowy husks that bear witness to the slow death of a once thriving, energetic city. The lack of activity has been routinely blamed on the insurance companies unwillingness and/or inability to put a dollar figure on the destruction. How do you value generations of families lives? Can you put a price tag on the time worn front steps of an old, but still ostensibly viable home, that gave warmth and shelter from the world for five or six generations of a family? Is there a calculation available that allows for milestones like your first parade with the family...That first Saints home game, when you decorated the exterior of the house with the now (in)famous black and gold? Since the storm, was there a definitive, actuarial equation devised that takes into account all the variables involved here? Of course not! But, just as suspect and just as ridiculous is the supposed "resurgence" of people coming back to the city to start over and reestablish things the way they were, back in the "good old days"..... There are signs everywhere, made of cardboard, plywood and any other large flat surface available, that trumpet the return of the populace, and tout the inextinguishable "fire" that supposedly burns in the bellys of the truly faithful...Those folks that have already begun the clean up and rebuilding process........But, you see, the problem is.....There is about one person for every hundred signs that are up, actually DOING what they claim. All the others are just a lot of bluster, that I can only assume are either a smokescreen or a delay tactic, hoping to keep spirits high long enough for everyone(or almost everyone) to sell their shattered dream home and get the hell out of there before this artificial housing market dries up and everyone figures out that no one is coming back-Unless you consider big business....Because at this point, they seem to be the only folks coming back! Oh, wait....That's right ....There is the "other" homeless problem.....The new breed of homeless people in New Orleans-Thugs. Thieves...Crooks, criminals....You know-Bad Guys! Two weekends ago, six teenagers were killed in New Orleans, all over the course of a single weekend. Of course, the national news grabbed that up like a starving man to fried chicken! Oh, woe is we...Crime is back in New Orleans and six innocent young men have fallen victim to this insidious new crime wave. Slain in the streets......Well, guess what? They ARE the new crime wave, you bleeding heart jack asses! Listen up-Yes, it's a damn tragedy about what has happened in the New Orleans area and the gulf coast. But, you folks have GOT TO STOP listening to everything in the media decrying all those poor people in New Orleans against the backdrop of sadness and despair. The facts are simple and undeniable-These six kids were DRUG DEALERS gunned down in the street, less than a block away from each other, in a DRUG deal that went bad. But the media didn't follow through to tell you the rest of the story-They also haven't reported that the people of Cameron Parish, who were pretty devastated themselves when they were hit by Rita only weeks after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, are rebuilding THEIR homes and businesses themselves...Not waiting for the government saviors that have as of yet failed to materialize! No, these folks just hitched up their britches, gathered together, and started rebuilding just two days after the flood waters receded. And yet, the media hasn't told us their brave story...Because there isn't a sensational angle! Just some damn fine folks, doing their best to rebuild a life that was equally shattered as those folks on the gulf coast. The contrast between the two areas is sickening......New Orleans is still covered from tip to tip with debris(house parts that broke off and travelled downstream, errant boats...)Hell-The marina is still FULL of sunken boats that have been appraised, but not repaired. And you know why? Because they aren't coming back-And, they aren't fixing their boats. They have taken the money and run as far and as fast as they could-Because when they finally did get an appraisal and/or settlement on their boats and property, enough time had passed to show them just how quickly the government was going to help them-Nothing had been done then and nothing has yet to be done now. It's depressing...Truly. I have been working there since the storm, in various capacities, repairing downed telephone lines(for businesses-The only people who wanted to hire us to do any work) Erecting new satellite dishes for businesses that use them for communication with their offshore rigs or inshore production facilities in the marsh. Nobody in downtown has even stopped us while we were working and inquired about how we could help them......Ok-I'm going to quit now, before I completely blow my stack. But, mark my words-The new homeless will be the death of New Orleans. Thugs, using the gutted, unoccupied homes strewn about as convenient squatter coverage for their activities. There are 1300 police in the city, which is about 600 less than there were at the citys height of prosperity-A figure that also tells of a police hiring rush(they were down to about 800 after everything settled down) And yet, with all those police(about 75% of pre-Katrina manpower) to control only a tenth of the previous population, the National Guard AND the State Police had to be called in to calm the remaining populace and to restore order in a city that is experiencing the biggest crime wave in recent, recorded history. If they had only spent the last ten months doing SOMETHING, ANYTHING with all the damaged, gutted homes, these criminals wouldn't stand a chance. But, as it stands now, the city is theirs for the picking. Because, in the not too distant future, the State Police will claim budgetary problems and split and the National Guard will be re-deployed elsewhere-And then what will those of the true faithful do? Congrats, Ray....You won a re-election in your Chocolate City, all right...Now that it's REALLY chocolaty, what next? Good Luck.....

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