Thursday, October 20, 2005

Managing Fema Money

A couple of days ago, a story broadcasted on a few networks, about a small percentage of Katrina victims and on how they were spending their $2000.00 FEMA emergency assistance grants. It has been bothering me ever since and many may not agree with me on this post.

The conditions of the money has no strings attached on how they spend it. As we, all know $2,000 does not go very far actually in my opinion it is “peanuts” or actually if broken down it would be $64.52 a day (31) for a MONTH. This was not a monthly payment. Even if you could eat and buy some clothes, that still does not allow for the below expectations:

“The $2,000 grants issued under FEMA's Individual and Households program are
intended for ``immediate'' food, shelter and clothing needs, as well as
medical, dental, transportation, funeral or ``other disaster-related costs,'' according to FEMA.”

The reporters secretly followed these devastated victims, presently residing at “CAMP” Edwards, to a strip mall where Wal-Mart is located. It was reported that a few went to the liquor store and strip bar for lap dancers.

``I hope that in the future, to the extent we pass out money, we find ways to restrict its use. That was my concern and some of my colleagues' right from the beginning,'' said U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). ``When you give FEMA $50 billion all at once, you're begging for mistakes. You're just asking for abuse.''

``That's very upsetting,'' Flake said. ``I think it's certainly eye-opening to see how the federal government spends money. We would have been better off giving FEMA $5 billion and have them report back in a week, not $50 billion all at once. Taxpayers should be upset.''

Evacuees binge on Cape in the Boston Herald.

Maslow Theory - The hierarchy of needs- necessities are air, water, and food. Then next stage is safe and secure shelter, sense of belonging, self-esteem, and actualization.

My other point, the major of these victims (enduring the horrifying experience of the hurricane itself) have been misplaced from their homes & cities to areas that they are not familiar with, lost their homes, job, all their belongings, etc. and some lost loved ones or have not found family. Additionally, I can’t even imagine the emotional state that they must be in. I would assume they are suffering from severe depression and no self-esteem. If this was me, I am not sure if I would not go completely off the deep end to say the least.

What surprised me the most was not only the story being broadcasted that could hinder more donations but the anchors were disgusted by OUR TAX MONEY being used in this way. I wish they had shared how many people this money has helped and how many still need our assistance.

Do you think that if you were put in this position as a survivor with having nothing that you would be completely sane? To me living in a camp with nothing to look forward to or feeling insecure about life and what will happen next, I may want a drink too. This would not make me a criminal. Is it being judgmental degrading these people and scrutinize them about tax dollars after what they have endured? Living in a CAMP to me, almost sounds like a prison. My goodness, this could be many of us. I am interested in your opinion regardless if you agree with me or not, perhaps I can better understand this with different views. I am not condoning their behavior, but making a huge story out of this may do more harm than good especially for people that may want to donate more to help others.
Effective Feb 2006 All comments have been saved and hidden due to transferring to Haloscan 21 Comments

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