ISS - Homeless and struggling in New Orleans
This article is great. One day about a year and a half ago, so coworkers and I went under the Claiborne bridge and spoke with homeless people there. For those of you who don't know, many of the homeless spoken to in this article may have been some of the hundreds of people who turned the neutral ground under the Claiborne bridge into a tent city after Katrina. Last year around Jazzfest time, I think, was when the city finally chased them away. Some mission was supposed to take them in and UNITY found many of them housing, but I'm sure that people fell through the cracks.
Some of them were people who came to New Orleans after Katrina thinking that they would find work in certain fields, but most of them were people who were born and raised here. The renters told stories of their rents being tripled. The ones who lived in the projects, of course, returned to find their doors and windows covered in steel or their apartments fenced off, kicked out while in exile from the storm. Some were folks who lived with relatives who died or couldn't return, and they didn't have a claim on the house. And a few were homeowners themselves who were so broken by Katrina that they couldn't muster the strength to fight for their homes anymore. Its easy for people to call the homeless lazy, or crazy, but these are people who don't want to acknowledge how fragile the human condition can be, and how one bad event or decision can lead us where we never thought we would be.