posted on Sep, 10 2005 @ 01:49 AM
In an effort that remains largely invisible to government agencies and the media, families displaced are turning to relatives for food and shelter.
According to Red Cross officials, Louisiana has the most sedentary family structure with 79% of the residents having been born there. Cities, towns,
and parishes are absorbing as many people as they can. In one city there were 7200 people at a makeshift shelter. In eight days that number has
declined to 1600 as relatives showed up to pick people up.
LAFAYETTE, La., Sept. 7 -- Owing to stealthy acts of hospitality that are largely invisible to government, aid agencies and the news media, hundreds
of thousands of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina seem to be disappearing -- into the embrace of their extended families.
It is hard to see and harder to quantify, but kinfolk from Louisiana -- a state that has the most sedentary family structure in the country, with 79
percent of its current residents born here -- are quietly sponging up the bulk of the people whose homes have been destroyed in and around New
Orleans, according to Red Cross officials, local politicians and longtime students of Louisiana hurricanes.
"This is certainly the most hospitable place that I have ever worked in," said Teresa Ellis, manager for shelters and feeding for the American Red
Cross here in Lafayette, where local officials guess that about 40,000 evacuees have flooded into a city of 110,000. Most of the displaced are now
believed to be living with kin.
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Withing humans family ties are often the strongest bonds around. It is heartening to see family take care of themselves in times of need and I can
only hope to do the same if my situation was similar. The tragedy is that many people who have taken in relatives can barely make ends meet. According
to the article both the Red Cross and FEMA have no money for families taking care of families. This may create a secondary problem down the road when
more and more people get into trouble. Perhaps FEMA and the Red Cross who still has not accounted for all those 911 dollars gets off thier collective
butts and looks at that situation, they can maybe take preventive measures from letting the families who took in survivors from becoming victims