Skip to comments.Hurricane Katrina survivors face grim Thanksgiving
Posted on 11/23/2005 6:34:54 AM PST by WestTexasWend
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Debbie Shifter faces the daunting task of whipping up Thanksgiving dinner for 18 in the tiny kitchen of her FEMA trailer.
Shifter, who lives in Bay St. Louis, Miss., had to drive 45 minutes to find a Wal-Mart that survived Hurricane Katrina. Downsizing the ingredients to fit her compact oven, she will serve a 13-pound turkey instead of the usual 20-pounder. Because of a lack of counter space, she will do the chopping and dicing on two wooden TV trays in her living room.
Guests will eat outside at a plastic table on her lawn, or in shifts at the kitchen table. Dinner will be served on paper plates with plastic utensils.
"We done lost everything we owned, just about - except for us," she said, standing next to the ruins of the larger trailer home she once called home. "We're going to stick together at all of our holidays."
For many across the hurricane-stricken Gulf Coast, this is going to be a grim Thanksgiving.
In New Orleans, where death and destruction still hang over the many empty streets and ruined neighborhoods, Eldon Robinson's thoughts are on his five pieces of storm-damaged property, not a Thanksgiving Day spread.
"I'll be eating no turkey," said Robinson, a 64-year-old landlord, as he picked up bottled water from a food distribution point. "I can't afford to buy no turkey."
Instead, he will work on his damaged roofs, kick himself for dropping insurance on his rental property before Katrina struck Aug. 29 and wish his family could be together. His wife is going to north Louisiana, where their two daughters live.
Some hope the holiday season will help people in this hurricane-ravaged region reset their moral compass.
Volunteers, celebrities, churches and aid organizations are rallying to serve meals to the tens of thousands of displaced and penniless victims.
"I want to feed those who are homeless, out of work," said Heidi Bruno, a 47-year-old Slidell woman who is homeless herself. Her home still has no power, and she and her 30-year-old son have been staying with friends in New Orleans for the past month.
On the weekend after Thanksgiving, she will serve up food at her Pentecostal church. "I don't know what we'll be feeding them," she said, "but it will be hot and a blessing."
Albinas Prizgintas, a pipe organist at Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans, said: "Despite the fact so many people have lost so much, there's a sense we have so much to be thankful for."
The trailer the government bought me is too small to cook a 20 lb. turkey.
Just Dang!! An American tragedy.
If these people have to start over, why don't they move to a new city and get back to work?
There are a certain amount of people that will get caught without insurance because of a mixup, but dropping insurance with a hurricane always possible is pure stupidity.
The govt needs to quit subsidizing those that won't take care of themselves, and let them be pruned from the tree of citizenship.
the recent arrest of 125 illegals working on a construction site in PA, tells me there is a possible 125 LEGAL citizen families who would have been having a better thanksgiving IF THEY HAD THOSE JOBS
I can stretch too AP
Whaaaaa, the AP didn't write about the Thanksgiving we had out at the old farm place. Drove 150 miles with the car full of groceries. There wasn't a stove so I had to cook the bird and everything else in a microwave. We had to chop veggies on the drain board and the jello mold melted. Ha, best Turkey Day we ever had!
There's really something very wrong with a person who can write a story like this, unless it is meant as satire.
Every year, the media bombards us with sob stories about how the homeless won't have any kind of Thanksgiving and how this is such a horrible, rotten country because we're sitting all warm and stuffed full of food in our homes watching football and we just don't care. The message, of course, is "How dare you be so uncaring as to not be deliberately miserable like us!"
Looks like the Katrina "victims" are this year's homeless. Funny how the survivors of Rita and Wilma don't seem to count.
It's an annual Thanksgiving tradition. Trotting out sad sack stories to point out how "evil" Republicans are.
You're assuming that those people would actually want to be trained for those 125 jobs instead of staying on the government dole. That's a big assumption.
Surely, there are Americans far worse off than this bunch...
Perhaps I've become to cynical. "I'll be eating no turkey," , what is cheaper than turkey? When I heard on the news that the feds were going to stop paying the motel bills (that, of course was postponed) I realized that we have been paying these peoples rent since long before Katrina, and will continue to do so ad nauseum. It's called a job. Get one. Or two like me.
God Bless you this Thanksgiving.
Leave it to the AP to make having perished in Katrina sound better than surviving.
Why not? If FEMA is going to meet our every need, insurance seems foolish.
Oh, and the next time disaster strikes, don't be surprised if we wait and see how much the benevolent (if constitutionally ignorant) politicians Democrats? Republicans? Does it matter? are giving on our behalf instead of rushing to make donations on our own. Live and learn!
I know an old man who accumulated a $300,000 investment account by eating lunch and dinner every day at a soup kitchen run by local churches. He calls it his social life.
That reminds me of a story I once read about a man who built a net worth of $142 million. He did it simply by riding the bus to work and carrying a sack lunch.
..... Oh, yeah. He invested in UPS in its infancy.
"Shifter, who lives in Bay St. Louis, Miss., had to drive 45 minutes to find a Wal-Mart that survived Hurricane Katrina."
When I read this I knew the story was fabricated. Take an element of truth and then blow it totally out of proportion.
Yeah. The Associated Press sounds like they are perpetuating a problem. In that sense, who's the real problem, Katrina or the AP?
This isn't unusual. This has been my family's Thanksgiving routine for years. Saves lots of time for the host family.
That is terrible! Please keep us updated to their progress resolving this nasty situation.
Boo hoo on that first story. If they're not going to be thankful that they have even that, why bother celebrating the holiday at all?
It's Thanksgiving day. They should be thanking God that they survived the storm. They should be thanking the government and the American taxpayers for the thousands of dollars they have received.
Yep. Just like how the homeless stories have resurfaced since Bush took office.
People who are homeless managed to burn the bridges with everybody who wanted to help them, that's why they are there.
Wow, I never imagined anyone could suffer like this in America.
Fattening his bank account by eating food meant for the less fortunate.
What a freakin parasite.
Mayber, but I have been his guest more than once, and most of the attendees come to the meals in their work uniforms. There is, apparently more generosity and largesse than there is need.
Thanks for sharing your opinion with the thread. Have a great day.
Baloney. They ought to be thankful they have a FEMA trailer.