Friday, October 06, 2006

Update from NOLA 10.6.2005

Subject: Update from NOLA Date: 10/6 9:22 AM

Hi all,
First order of business the updates: Many of the missing found. All of the shop people now accounted for. TH is in Mississippi too. TL, who owns the shop and her mother, MJ came home so the cats are home at least. And Tommy, MJ's cat, one of the cutest but meanest cats on the planet, was found. He had been residing in his very own room in foster care. We can't figure out why MJ was so glad to see him when he's already bitten her a couple times. T's house will need some work but they got the shop cleaned up very fast. Seeing the lights on in there was a good thing after all the days I'd been in there in the dark. It was nice to see color in there again. She's already opened the shop limited hours, is giving discounts to relief workers and while not doing a land office business yet, can be proud of being one of the very first shops, if not THE first shop on Bourbon Street to re-open. We've seen bars and restaurants coming to life, but I hadn't see any shops open til Yesteryears opened its doors.

Our wonderful landlord/neighbor/friends returned home. Set right to work fixing and figuring out what to do. We celebrated with MRE's and rum and cokes the night they came back. It was marvelous. We had other food, but sat there giggling and eating MRE's, digging the lemon/poppy seed pound cake out of the brown plastic hermetically sealed bag. One of the best dinner parties I ever attended. I was so happy to see their faces and just get to hug them.

David missed it as he had left for Florida that morning. He's back now but it was a rough trip in many ways.

Before he left, he spent another four hours dealing with FEMA. We love their standard answer, "Call us back tomorrow." He said, "Do you realize that that's a four hour commitment?" They just say that they know, but. . . . . .so here we are, six days later, still no FEMA money, and now we are supposed to fax them something, they say, so we will. They're claiming it will be 3-5 days after that when they'll know something, but no one at FEMA can actually answer a question. We'll see. We need for them to come through and fast, but fast isn't in their vocabulary. We're not the only ones having this problem. There are thousands of others out there with no jobs, some with no houses or missing family members and mounting frustration with the agencies that are supposed to help.

Oh yeah, and if you call this number 1.800.975.7585 and get through, please call tell them to hang on then call us for a conference call. That is the Red Cross number. We've called non-stop at all hours for over a month and can't get through. If you get the tape, it will tell you that it's for Katrina Disaster Financial Assistance ONLY, and that they are overwhelmed, and they know it's frustrating. Then you go into an interminable busy signal. At least it's better than the busy signal one gets hitting speed dial! One word for the Red Cross: INTERNET. They can manage to put links on every single website to solicit money, but they do not have any set up for taking applications for financial assistance online. They felt they could "reach the maximum number of people with an 800 number." I've set my alarm for ridiculous times in the middle of the night, no dice. A representative on the news said if "you get through, get your neighbors together and pass the phone around so they can all file while you have a representative on the phone." Cool! I'll get the megaphone out. No doubt there are several folks around who would be thrilled to get through to that number. We figure if we ever have to live through another disaster like this one, we'll just get names and addresses of the people that need the money and tell everyone who wants to give it to the Red Cross to send it directly to those people.

Four boxes of over the counter medical supplies came to my house via UPS the other day. (Oh yeah, and we have mail service now! Amazing! Still wondering what happened to the mail from September, but hey, there's someone putting bills in our mailbox! That's progress!) They were sent by the employees of Barnhill Bolt in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Benadryl, alcohol, all kinds of things, and thrown into one of the boxes were some toy trucks for the kids. C and M H, dear friends of ours, organized it. M works there and the employees all went to Walgreens and other stores, bought things and put them in the boxes. The owner of Barnhill Bolt paid for the UPS. Amazing generousity. The boxes will be delivered to the Common Ground clinic tomorrow. I'll take some pics of the clinic for you so you can see the amazing little place.

So much more to fill you in on, but have been asked about places that one can donate to, so have compiled a list.

PET
Noah's Wish Home Page
LA/SPCA - Hearts Unleashed

MEDICAL/FOOD/CLOTHING/OTHER
Common Ground
South Baton Rouge Church of Christ

Love and Light,
Bec and David
____________________________
NOTE 10.6.2006

As mentioned last week, I think, we are still getting letters asking for documentation from FEMA. Sent it off last week. Have heard nothing back, which may be a blessing in disguise as there are rumors about of folks being sent letters telling them they have to re-pay FEMA for the emergency money they were sent last year. Still haven't seen one of the letters, but have heard it from enough credible (and honest, non-fraudulent people) that I believe it's probably true. Although that money was never given with a caveat that it was a loan, it might turn out that it was for some. We'll see.

8 Comments:

Blogger Leslie said...

Hey Lady!

I was sent your blog sites by a woman working in the recovery effort. Just wanted to let you know that I'll be finding a spot on my blogs for your addresses - as perspective, if nothing else.

Please visit my blogs in hopes of finding some useful information:
KatrinaNetworking.blogspot.com
ArtisanRelief.blogspot.com
KatrinaPoliceFireAmbulance.blogspot.com
WavelandRelief.blogspot.com
PearlingtonRelief.blogspot.com
BayStLouisRelief.blogspot.com

Good luck and I hope you find some information that is useful to you!
Leslie

10:31 AM  
Blogger slate said...

Thanks very much, and I hope you keep reading!

This is the redux of what I was writing a year ago. Check out New Orleans Slate, the sister blog, for what's going on in my poor twisted head these days!

And thanks so much for the links!

Oh yeah, and thank TM for sending them to you. I know that's who it was. (Love ya, TM!)

9:54 PM  
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