SLIDELL, La. - FEMA’s transitional sheltering program is set to wrap up Sunday, but some on the Northshore say they weren’t warned properly and are facing homelessness if help ends.
Hotels and motels are the places many Isaac victims on the Northshore have called home since the storm. But some say they were shocked to get a flyer Thursday saying their stay, on FEMA’s dime, would end in a few days.
"I'm kind of in shock all over again," said one storm victim. "I'm not thinking well again because I'm about to lose my base of operations, I'm about to lose a place I can go back to securely every night."
The victim from Slidell, who did not want to be identified for fear of affecting the assistance she’s currently getting, says she’s spent a majority of her money fixing up a truck that took on 32 inches of water, cleaning that same amount of surge out of furniture that was in her Bayou Liberty home and paying for storage of that furniture. Now she has no money, nowhere to go and no reliable way to contact FEMA for help.
"When you call it, you get a recording,” said the victim, “I've called it five times, I've left the information it's asked for, they have yet to get back to me and the clock is running."
FEMA says this flyer was just a reminder for Isaac victims because their check-in documentation at hotels should have also had their check-out date as October 29. However, the agency says just because this temporary program is ending, it does not mean help is ending too.
“We are working with the state and volunteer organizations to help anyone who still might need some assistance for housing," said spokesman Ray Perez, “Also, many of the occupants who have been living in hotels have also gotten some other housing assistance in the form of grants from FEMA and they’re certainly welcome to use that money to stay at the hotel they’re in.”
FEMA encourages anyone still needing housing assistance after Isaac to call the number on your screen, which the agency says is manned 24/7. For people on the Northshore, a new Disaster Recovery Center opened today in Slidell, at the Municipal Auditorium, to help victims there with similar needs.