After 5 years, Katrina victims still fighting

By Michelle Costa
August 31, 2010

A few days ago marked the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  On that day, millions were washed away of a future in a matter of minutes.  Today, not much has changed; not the change that you would hope to see in five years anyway.

Festive New Orleans has surely gotten some life back but not to the level of spirit and fun it was once known for.  It is safe to say that if the city’s levee system had not failed, Louisiana would be booming with a future filled with unique flavor and promising soul.

While other states were hit by this brutal storm, lack of improvement and rebuilding still stands in Louisiana.  How is that not one, not three but five years later, people are still displaced and living in conditions that are completely unsuitable and unacceptable?

What went wrong in the reestablishing plans that have left thousands robbed of their homes and a life that they once had before the winds hit?  The current lifestyle that many are continuing to live is a complete disgrace and embarrassment on our government’s part.

Sure, donations upon donations have helped those in need but the depths of destruction have not been properly addressed.  Alternate procedures could have restored lives back to the way things were before the 2005 storm.

In my opinion, I strongly feel as though FEMA only made temporary contributions and sugarcoated progress to the press and ignored the long-term damage.  No matter how large a volunteer group may be or how many layers of paint is put on a house, no one can instantly help and resolve the mental damage that is crippling the minds of those affected.

I believe we as a country take on many tasks at one time.  This demand of complicating commitments results in doing work in every direction, essentially at a mediocre level.  If prioritizing were implemented, people five years later would not be homeless and still suffering.

Reports all over do not hide the astonishing numbers that show the truth behind poor resettlement projects.  Currently there are 125,000 people that remain displaced due to the vicious hurricane.

My heart continues to break.   I try to wrap my head around the idea that people who once had a stable environment that they called home and became homeless in a blink of an eye.  Its years later and hopelessness would not even begin to describe the pain they must face day in and day out.

Natural disasters are certainly not planned.  Sure, we are given warning but no plan of action is significant or successful enough to save ones belongings that have made up a lifetime of memories.  Every person in our world should be granted the gift of a home, a place where a family can be protected and safe.

This hurricane was no ones fault.  It is our job, our responsibility to restore life and give these people a future that can replace the hell they currently living.

Michelle Costa

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