Open your doors to the Refugees of New Orleans

This sprung out of discussion in my last thread…

It is clear that the US was unprepared for such a catastrophe… but then, I see it as human nature to be unprepared for the unimaginable and react rather than be proactive. Humans are reluctant to face death and prepare for it… Yes, the Gulf Coast should have probably taken a note or two from the Netherlands before last week, but it’s too late for that now.

What I think will be the real crisis in all this is the ongoing refugee situation… there are 100s of 1000s of refugees and no place to put them.

It’s time people start opening their doors and welcoming some of these people in. There is no reason for them to wallow in filth in an overrun stadium or two or three. And I can’t see them setting up massive refugee camps in the Midwest with winter approaching.

Why haven’t there been calls for people to take some of these poor displaced people in?

Canada and the US took refugees from the Balkans in 1999.

I for one would be happy to open my door to a family that had nowhere else to go. I can provide the support network that they have lost. The cost to me would be hardly anything compared to the trauma and desperation of living in a refugee camp.

It’s time to step up.

3 replies on “Open your doors to the Refugees of New Orleans”

  1. I don’t think there are that many private families who could take in and support strangers for the months on end that will be required to sustain them. Most people are going to relatives if they have them.

    What we need is for communities to find emergency public shelter for people, provide essential supplies and services, and then as quickly as possible provide medium-term housing and employment for refugees. Military bases scheduled for closure could provide immediate shelter to a lot of people who have no relatives or friends to take them in.

  2. David, you make a good suggestion. A military base would be workable for temporary living accomodations.

    I’m not sure (I don’t think anyone is at the moment) how many people need shelter but Texas will shelter 75,000 people in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. I think those people will be bused from La out of the mess there for at least temporary respite from the foul conditions we’ve all seen so much of this week. Our Gov Vilsak is already calling on Iowans to step up and offer shelter and I don’t doubt in the least that they will. During the early 80s we took in many, many southeast Asian refugees and they stayed and have fit in very well.

    However, the million that evacuated New Orleans before the hurricane hit also will need, at least a good portion of them, shelter, too. They won’t be able to come back anytime soon. I’m sure a significant number of them will stay with relatives but not all will have family that can take them in. We’ve all got to help someway.

    Chris, thank you for your generous spirit. I think it would be an interesting experiment to have your family host a ‘Cajun family.
    My former husband was a ‘Cajun and I’m familar with the culture of Louisiana. You would find it a learning experience, I’m sure. The idiom alone is almost a foreign language. :).

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