Displaced by Katrina and edged out of FEMA trailer parks
Mikasi | June 1, 2008 at 03:29 amby
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BAKER, LA. -- Curtis Westbrook cut a lonely figure as he sat outside his trailer this week, chain-smoking as workmen hauled another empty trailer away.
He had already loaded all of his belongings -- a television and some dishes and clothes -- into his white Jeep Cherokee. But he was not sure how far the old Jeep would make it. With the motor mounts broken, he had rigged the engine on wooden sticks.
In any case, he was not sure where to go. He had barely a day to meetthe deadline to vacate the Renaissance Village trailer park, and hedidn't know whether he could pay $400 a month for an apartment innearby Baton Rouge. So he just sat there, waiting.
Our goverment is both devoted to people bootstrapping their lives and to putting together solutions to big problems on the fly. Combine that with a society that has become a lot more individual oriented and the expense of family ties and it is no wonder that some many people have so few options.
One can only wonder how a situation like this might have been address some 55-80 years ago.