EVACUEES' TIME RUNNING OUT FEMA DEADLINE COULD BURDEN LOCAL SERVICES.Byline: Troy Anderson Staff Writer
As Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County officials intensify efforts to address problems of homelessness in the region, experts worry that hundreds of Gulf Coast hurricane evacuees Resident or transient persons who have been ordered or authorized to move by competent authorities, and whose movement and accommodation are planned, organized and controlled by such authorities. in the area soon could be adding to overburdened services and shelters.
Earlier this week, FEMA FEMA,
n.pr See Federal Emergency Management Agency. warned 150,000 hurricane victims living in hotels and motels nationwide that it would stop paying for their rooms on Jan. 7.
Federal Emergency Management Agency The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the federal agency responsible for coordinating emergency planning, preparedness, risk reduction, response, and recovery. The agency works closely with state and local governments by funding emergency programs and providing technical officials did not have figures for the number of evacuees in the county, but estimate 1,400 families statewide are receiving hotel vouchers.
Officials at 211 LA County - the phone line evacuees were encouraged to call to get services - estimate 4,500 people in the county may be affected.
``What is going to happen to these unfortunate folks is a result of quick-fix solutions and the political ploys of extending already strained resources to help the people who were displaced by the hurricane,'' said Leslie Croom, a community organizer for the United Coalition East Prevention Project.
``There are 90,000 homeless people in the county. We have the largest homeless population in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , and it's going to be very frightening to see what will happen to these folks.''
In September, the Board of Supervisors voted to spend $10 million of a $138 million surplus to help the 4,500 Hurricane Katrina Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism. evacuees who had informally relocated to the region since the disaster.
FEMA, which originally planned to end the voucher program on Dec. 1, is requiring 10 states with more than 90 percent of the 150,000 people living in hotels - including California - to outline plans by Jan. 7 for completing the placement of evacuee e·vac·u·ee
A person evacuated from a dangerous area.
Noun 1. evacuee - a person who has been evacuated from a dangerous place
migrant, migrator - traveler who moves from one region or country to another
households into qualified temporary housing.
``I think it's unconscionable Unusually harsh and shocking to the conscience; that which is so grossly unfair that a court will proscribe it.
When a court uses the word unconscionable to describe conduct, it means that the conduct does not conform to the dictates of conscience. that FEMA is going to yank Yank
steamship stoker vainly tries to climb the social ladder, then fails in attempt to avenge himself on society. [Am. Drama: O’Neill The Hairy Ape in Sobel, 339]
See : Failure
(jargon) yank vouchers out from underneath individuals and families when they have nowhere else to go,'' said Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger & Homelessness. ``They obviously need the housing vouchers or they wouldn't be in hotels now.
``A couple of weeks' reprieve is a nice gesture during the holidays, but it's sure an awful way to start the new year.''
Tony Bell, spokesman for Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich Michael Dennis Antonovich (born 1939 in Los Angeles, California) is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors representing the Fifth District, which covers northern Los Angeles County, the Antelope, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, and parts of the San Fernando and San , said although the hotel voucher program ends Jan. 7, FEMA will provide rental assistance for evacuees who apply.
``FEMA remains responsible for addressing the housing needs of Katrina evacuees, both in terms of providing funding for housing and helping evacuees locate housing,'' said Phil Ansell, director of programs and policy for the Department of Public Social Services social services
welfare services provided by local authorities or a state agency for people with particular social needs
social services npl → servicios mpl sociales .
About 3,600 Katrina evacuees have applied for cash assistance, food stamps and health insurance through the county's welfare department and 2,200 people have been approved for aid.
None of the four other county supervisors or their staff members returned calls Wednesday on what efforts might be undertaken with the deadline looming for evacuees' end of hotel vouchers.
But Marie Quon-Hom, assistant director of the county's Community Development Commission and Housing Authority, said she is very concerned.
She said there is little her agency can do to provide Section 8 rental assistance and public housing for additional evacuees.
Currently, the agency is helping two families displaced by the hurricane obtain public housing, and another family obtain Section 8.
About 130,000 people are on waiting lists for Section 8 rental assistance, Quon-Hom said, adding that a somewhat smaller unknown number are waiting for public housing.
``We are concerned, but if there is no funding for us to help, there isn't much we can do beyond Jan. 7,'' Quon-Hom said.
So far, FEMA has spent $4.4 billion helping the 1.4 million families affected by the hurricanes.
Nick Samaniego, spokesman for the American Red Cross American Red Cross: see Red Cross. of Greater Los Angeles, said the agency has helped 1,800 families displaced by the hurricanes and is now serving 250 families.
``So three months out now, we are kind of out of the picture now,'' Samaniego said. ``We have stepped back into our regular role, which is disaster relief.
``It's taken much longer for these folks to transition to local, state and federal aid that should have been available to them, usually much quicker.''
Troy Anderson, (213) 974-8985