We’re still here at Camp Coast Care and I’m continuing to learn about the struggle people face in trying to get their lives back in order. I’m also being reminded daily about how taxing it is on one’s body to put in a hard day’s work as a laborer.
As I mentioned yesterday (or was it the day before) people who lost everything collected insurance money. However, much of the insurance dollars went to the bank to pay off the mortgage. Thus, they were left with a piece of property with no home and no money to rebuild. Add to that the fact that the market for ocean front property has dried up. Thus, they own what once was a valuable piece of real estate and cannot find a buyer. Naturally, they must continue to pay the property taxes… and why not?
Businesses have not come back to the Gulf Coast because the customer base is gone. People who might consider moving to the area do not because there are no jobs. It’s the proverbial catch-22 situation.
Now, let’s factor in the government – that is to say the politicians – along with the news media that long ago moved on to more interesting stories. Because the news media has basically forgotten the hurricane victims, we have a tendency to believe that all is back to the way it was… and life goes on.
Because of that basic belief, we further tend to believe that anyone who is not back on his or her feet is simply a leech taking advantage of taxpayer dollars. The politicians, rather than trying to set the record straight, look at how many votes they might lose if they don’t do something about the ‘deadbeats’. Thus, they tell them they have to move out of the FEMA trailers and find someplace else to live.
For many, that someplace else will not be the Gulf Coast.
It’s been four years since Katrina. It will be many more years before the Gulf Coast of Mississippi gets back to the way it used to be. Some folks here don’t think that will ever happen.
If you have some time on your hands, why not plan a mission trip to the Gulf Coast and help with the rebuilding effort. If nothing else, make a charitable contribution to one of the find organizations that are doing their best to fill the gaps being missed by government.