William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Thu, 13 Oct 2005 05:37:33 -0400


Katrina victims still homeless

Thursday, October 13, 2005

      By JAY REEVES Associated Press Writer

      BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - More than 9,000 mobile homes and campers meant for
the victims of Hurricane Katrina are sitting unused at government staging
areas while displaced families continue to live out of tents and shelters.

      The Federal Emergency Management Agency says the backlog was
inevitable: The temporary housing is easier to acquire than distribute
because of the limited number of accessible roads, cleared lots and trucks
to haul housing to the storm-ravaged region.

      But it's been six weeks, and the people left homeless by the hurricane
say they are tired of waiting for the federal government to fulfill its

      "We applied for a FEMA trailer, but we have no result yet," said Ben
Truong, 34. He has been living with his parents, aunt and a couple of dogs
on their shrimp boat near Biloxi, Miss., running the boat's engine to power
a generator.

      "What's killing us is we're burning the diesel that makes our living,"
he said. More than 22,000 storm victims are still living in shelters, Coast
Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen said Wednesday. Long-term temporary housing is
expected to be needed for at least 400,000.

      To help, the government ordered 125,000 campers and mobile homes.
About 6,700 campers are now occupied, but more than 2,500 mobile homes and
6,400 campers sit unused at staging sites in Selma, Ala.; Purvis, Miss.;
Baton Rouge, La.; and Texarkana, Texas, said FEMA spokesman James McIntyre.