I feel the need to preface this post by saying that I am not a mean and hateful person. I do not bask in the misfortunes of others; I have a deep saddness for those who have been displaced by hurricane Katrina.
There are two types of people:
- Feelers-- these people tend to go with the gut instinct. They allow emotions to play a major role in their decision making. Often feelers' actions are motivated by instinctual urges.
- and Thinkers-- these people tend to think and go with [hopefully well-thought] strategies. In instances of turmoil, they take a minute to say let's look at this long term. What decisions right now will workout best in the long run? No matter what the instance is they tend to put aside their emotions in order to make decisions that are as realistic as possible.
- The Chase Debit Card: Many of the victims, brought to Texas from the Superdome and Arena are now receiving debit cards with a $2000 prestored value on them. The concept behind this card was genuinely a great idea. However, the execution could have stood to be improved. As these cards are debit cards, people can get cold cash back from these cards. They can use them to purchase anything from anyone who accepts theAmerican dollar or the MaserCard logo. Personally, I believe these cards should ahve been tailored, somewhat like the foodstamp cards so that only certain items could be purchased with these cards. In some cases the governemnet is handing over $2000 debit cards to people who have never had $2000 in their position at one time. Putting that type of money into people's hands who may not be accustoed to that amount of money is potentially hazardous. I would just hate to see that money [taxpayer dollars] go to alcohol, or a certain desinger outfit that wasn't never in reach before.
- Housing: Beyond the debit card issue, housing is probably a very large concern among my statemates. I am nto callous; I am being very real right now. The vast majority of the people who were brought to Houston's Astrodome from the Superdome and the Arena lived below the poverty level when at their peak in New Orleans. Many of them were underprivilaged and undereducated in New Orleans. Many of them have always looked to Houston as "the better life," and before many of them had no means of getting here. Well, as a result of a major disaster we have opened our doors and brought them to us. Howe many of those people do you truly believe have any intention of leaving Houston when they are presented with the opportunity to go back home to NO or elsewhere. Many of these people had never even left New Orleans, so leaving a new place where they are begining to set roots is not too plausible. The problem then becomes, that Houston would then need to be able to house, on a more permanent basis those who choose to stay. We are a generous people down here in Texas [our name in itself means friend] so we are not going to force people to leave. However all of these additional people would be murderous on our economy. We are essentially taking one city and putting it into an entirely difernet city. In houston we have recently been putting up very nice townhomes and the property value here has increased. However, I have talked to many native Houstonians, who previously were making attempts to move back to Houston. Many of them no longer wanted to come because of all of the new tenants we will inevidently have.
"If I wanted to live in Louisiana, I would have gone to school there," one friend said. It's a legitimate issue. Are we going to have to start buildign more section 8 houses to house those who were already subpoverty level in N.O? By no stretch of the imagination are there an additional 100,000 jobs here in Houston, let alone 200,000. Of the jobs in Houston, many of them require a higher level of education, so the victims are not taking the qualified jobs. However, with the sudden influx of people, those who may have been inclined to move here may decide against it because of our new tenants.
- Lifestyle: New Orleans people, their culture is vastly different from those in the rest of the country. That cannot be disputed. The loitering on Bourbon streeet, and the openly accepted purchasing of alcohol by minors are evident unto themselves that life out there was different. The Astrodome recently invoked an 11 P.M. curfew for the victims in the Dome. Many were upset. I have a question. What could one be doing, outside of the dome, after 11 p.m., without any money. We do not loiter in Texas.
- Crime: We are all concerned about it. On day two of project "house the victims" a woman or more was raped. An influx of car breaks in have occured in the Medical Center [Astrodome area] since we've opened our doors. I am not calling all victims or New Orleanians criminals. I am nto doing that. I am however, asking if we are really ready to see the type of influx in crime that can come with a distraught hoard of an additional 230,000 people.
- Safety. I was reading an article that brought up a great point. Displaced Katrina kids are about to stat going to school with the kids already here in Texas. As these vitims/survivors have been exposed to everything from the current outbreak of TB in the Dome and the Ecoli in the waters in NO, without any form of vaccination records, many of our kids are being put at risk.
I was in the Galleria today, and saw this dude with his wristband on carrying two Saks Fifth Avenue bags out. I saw a long line of evacuees at the ATM machine inside of Target. And oh so many were in the beauty shops and nails shops. A realist's approach says what happens when they've blown the $2000 from that debit card on their hair, nails, and the stuff from Saks, and the Louis Vitton bag one when it behind me to buy? Will they stand at the feet of the government and ask for more?