Sunday, August 05, 2007
Out of sight, out of mind.
It was bad enough when Hurricane Katrina chased Carrie Lewis out of her assisted-living home in New Orleans. Now she fears the rest of her life may be spent in the isolation of a federally sponsored trailer park.
Because hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed so much affordable housing, Lewis and thousands of others displaced - mainly the poor, elderly and infirm - have nowhere else to go.
"I want to go home," said Lewis, 79, who now lives in the Renaissance Village trailer park. "They don't have places for old people in New Orleans yet. What am I supposed to do? I don't want to die in a little trailer in the middle of a field somewhere."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency provided 120,000 trailers to people displaced from their Gulf Coast homes by the 2005 hurricanes.
Pamela Lomis and her two children feel abandoned. Lomis lives in a FEMA trailer in the Sugar Hill trailer park in the midst of cane fields near Convent, La., about midway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
It's 20 miles from the nearest grocery store. A single bus leaves each morning at 9 a.m. and returns at 4 p.m., Lomis' life line to a world that seems distant.
"We just sit around here with life slipping by," Lomis said. "We're just on hold. Just waiting for something that never comes," she said.