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spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:47 AM
Original message
Biloxi Families Live in Rubble of Homes
BILOXI, Miss. - In the poorest of neighborhoods here, people sleep outside with no running water or power. They live among starving cats, rotting heaps of garbage and constant, buzzing flies. The bathroom is anywhere and everywhere. The filth is inescapable.

Weeks after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their homes and jobs, many people in east Biloxi are living amid the rubble of their own houses, waiting for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deliver the trailers they have applied for or for other federal assistance.

"We just wait and pray," said Kenneth Albus, 45, who has spent weeks in the wreckage of his rented house, taking care of friend Margaret Nevels, a 65-year-old woman with swollen ankles and a heart condition.

People subsisting in similar, squalid conditions can be found all over east Biloxi, this city's version of the lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans and only blocks behind the wealthy casinos that line the coast.

http://tinyurl.com/acsey

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. This is totally disgusting. I see our government
continues to care for these displaced Americans. :sarcasm:
Where's a leader when you need one?
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. If you're in your home's rubble, are you displaced? Just asking.
I really have no idea if anyone else would regard it as such or not. Like it matters.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Is "living in rubble" better than "displaced"?
If they leave, they might lose what little they have.
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Lindsay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
2. This makes my heart hurt.
And my head, too.

It's inexcusable that our brothers and sisters are treated this way.
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xultar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
3. Awww but I thought FEMA was doin just fine in MS. The local gov
was not disfunctional the state gov was not disfunctional and everything in MS is fine. The president and govenor say so.
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SouthernDem2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. FEMA sucks period. Our Mayor and Republican Gov are doing fine.
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hadrons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm sure God, Guns, & Gays aren't too important anymore to some in Biloxi
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stevekatz Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
7. I'm in East Biloxi
I'm in east Biloxi right now,
This aren't as bad as this article makes it out to be.

The people still there refuse to leave the rubble and got to places that are set up for them.

Fema is getting lots of trailers into the area
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pop goes the weasel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. please tell us about those places n/t
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Are you in the really poor places?
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 10:49 AM by uppityperson
There are slums there, or rather were slums there, places where the extremely poor lived in very poor conditions pre-Katrina that were destroyed when I was there last month.

People don't have money or means to go to other places. What places are you refering to that they can get to? Where are they?

Yes, FEMA is getting some trailers in, I know of someone who is in one. However, FEMA is not getting nearly enough trailers in, and many many people can't afford to get them, get them hooked up, and have nowhere to put them anyway.

What places are you refering to? I would like to know as I'm still working on gulf coast recovery. Thank you.

Edited to add, I thought you said you lived in Gulfport?
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SouthernDem2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. What slums???
I have been a Police Office in Biloxi for years. I have spent most of my career in Biloxi working the East. What slums? Yes, we have extremely poor areas but we do not have slums. Our public housing is outstanding. The areas where people are sleeping outside or in their homes are around Holley St, Crawford, Maple and a few other places. The people in public housing have been moved. The people that are still in East Biloxi are there by choice.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #12
24. poor wording, sorry, I apologize AND I made a mistake
wrong town, and wrong wording. Sorry, I do appologize for both. I didn't get to Biloxi by the water, confusing with another coast town, sorry.
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stevekatz Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #10
20. .
I do live in Gulfport,
I work in Biloxi (its one town over), On Keesler AFB (I'm in the AF)which is right on the peninsula.

SouthernDem2004 is right, east Biloxi had no real slums in it at all. It had poor nieghborhoods yes, but not slums. I know the difference, I grew up in New Jersey right outside Newark.

Where to put the trailers is a true concern though, FEMA needs to get people out of that area and set up a centralized location where they can provide the utilities.

photos.yahoo.com/stevekatz99

There are alot of photos in my photo album of hurricane damage in Biloxi/Gulfport and Longbeach.

--Steve
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #20
25. Thanks for the pictures and an apology
Edited on Thu Oct-20-05 10:53 AM by uppityperson
Slums was a poor choice of words, meaning poor neighborhoods, highly assisted housing, more p.c. term. And I was confusing Biloxi with another gulf town, sorry, did't know what I was writing about as I didn't get down into Biloxi. Nice pictures, looks like you have a nice place, parts of it. So sorry for you all to have this happen to you, what a mess.

On edit: how does one begin picking up after a disaster? I guess one piece at a time, or bulldozers, but still it seems overwhelming.
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rfkrfk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
8. why are Quonset Huts, not good enough for these people?
a long time ago, those things were everywhere
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
11. Nominated. People are forgetting about Katrina survivors.
Call it compasson fatigue or the American ADD, it still equals bad news for the people still waiting for help. Im also just sick to death of the "Mississippi handled everything so much better than Louisiana" baloney. Obviously, Mississippi's Republican governor and Biloxi's mayor have been all over this. :eyes:
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SouthernDem2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Sigh, Please read the article fully. These people choose not to leave.
I have spoken to most if not all of them. They just do not want to leave. Heck, I did not want to leave my house either but I had no choice. <shrug> Some people are just stubborn.
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. To many people, leaving does not seem to be a viable option.
They cannot afford to move; they are more afraid of life in a shelter than life squatting on their own trashed home; or they are afraid that they will not be able to get back to their home if they leave the property (I'm thinking of the renters, specifically).

I don't have your first-hand Biloxi experience. But having been abjectly poor in the US, and having worked with evacuees in Denver and Houston, I can see why people might feel staying is the most viable option they have.
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SouthernDem2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. I understand to an extent but their homes are going to be demolished
anyway by the city. The rental homes are unlivable and are going to be history also. They have nothing left to salvage.
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. I know. In many ways it's a mental health thing.
Not that they're inherently crazy, or crazy because they're poor, but PTSD and severe depression is certainly a factor. I think many people are still in a lot of shock and there may be a certain level of denial ongoing. It's fairly easy to think, "I'll just wait until that FEMA trailer gets here, then I can live in that, on the premises, until my housing is rebuilt." Whereas if they leave the premises, will they get free, private housing while their house is being rebuilt? Or are they going to have pay rent and maybe a mortgage as well for the next year? Will the government take their property by eminent domain due to soil contamination by the floods (or for some other reason)? Many poor people have an inherent distrust of the government and other authority systems (such as the police, lawyers, etc.) from years of being yanked around the system.

So I guess what I'm saying is that what may seem like a stubborn, fool-hardy choice to stay, may actually not be so much a choice but a kind of survival instinct kicking in on their part. It may not seem logical to us, but in their own heads it makes perfect sense.

Sad state of affairs, all around.

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SouthernDem2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Had the opposite effect on me. I did not want to be anywhere near
my destroyed home. I still hate going by it.
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. SouthernDem,
:hug: for your losses.

Do I understand you to say that you're still working as a police officer in the area? That's got to be very hard on you as well, but God love you for doing it. That's the stuff of a true community hero.

I'm waiting for an answer on whether or not I've gotten a job here in Denver, but if it doesn't come through, I'll be heading down to the coast to volunteer with the Red Cross in early November. If they send me to the Biloxi area, I'll be sure to look you up for coffee and a donut.

I'm sure it can be my treat, those are two things the Red Cross has plenty of. :donut:
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SouthernDem2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Lol, yep Still work here and I have no plans of leaving.
We have a good Department with alot of good Officers. Also, I would not leave my city in the shape it is currently in. The hurricane happened on my watch.

Peace
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SouthernDem2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
13. Um If people refuse to go there is nothing anyone can do for them.
Besides, the city is going to start clearing the destroyed homes anyway.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
21. Hayley Barbour said that FEMA did an excellent job in HIS state
and only Louisiana was a hellhole because of the democrat govbernor & mayor of NO..` Albus & his kind must be from Louisiana, because everything in Mississippi is just hunky-dory.. :sarcasm:
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
26. Shame on them--do you hear the people in Fallujah and Tikrit complaining?
:eyes:
rocknation
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