Katrina Guests Update 9-17-05
This week has been a good week for many of our new guests. Several have started working full time in the hotel industry cleaning rooms. Others have had job interviews or started new jobs. Most of our efforts have been focused on assessing the needs of our guests and connecting them to resources. A major request is to secure a job.
Many on the 3rd floor watched the presidential address from New Orleans. Some of our guests were hopeful; others seem angry about their loss and how the government was slow to respond. We took one resident to the airport this morning to get on a plane bound for the New Orleans area. He gave us $50.00, which we told him we would not accept. He persevered and said he appreciated the help he was given and said to use it as we saw fit.
His story reflects the gratitude that we have felt from many of these displaced persons. They all struggle with their loss but are thankful that they have a safe respite with many helping hands. One of our case managers speaks a little Spanish which has helped with the Spanish speaking people who have arrived. Volunteer translators have been invaluable as have many others who have pitched in on our supply processing. This morning three different groups representing three different churches worked side by side on the sorting project. Welcomed is one of our family shelter residents from Market Street who is fluent in Spanish and English. She has been working beside our staff every day this week. She was eager to help with the situation. Yesterday we loaded a truck full of can goods that Rev. Lewis Coleman was delivering to Moss Point, Mississippi.
Nina just checked in a new man from New Orleans today who had been a patient at University Hospital. He has pneumonia as a result of wading in chest deep water for several days. We gave him a room to himself and he has a sack of medicine he is taking. Please say a special prayer for him as he recovers.
Not everything is perfect. Some residents have problems we hope they will tackle before leaving here or after they return. We see cultural variation that we are trying to understand. But I can tell you that they are all good people, our brothers and sisters, God’s children, and they have experienced a tremendous loss and grieve daily.
Keep them in your prayers.
Update: We just received a referral from the Red Cross – three families that just arrived in Louisville.