Homes for the Homeless
While we're talking about houses on the market and the housing market in general, we should remember that many people in the areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina still don't have homes. There is no "housing market" for many of them, because they have lost everything. It's hard to believe that in a "first world" country like ours, we still have so many people homeless and struggling, without sufficient aid from either the state or federal government. Can you believe that FEMA is cutting off the money for people who are currently without homes and living in hotel rooms? It's not lavish: most of these rooms are being shared by families, and they are sleeping many people to a bed. And yet, our government thinks that we can push these people out of hotels when there aren't any apartments or other housing for them. Frankly, many of the parishes outside of Louisiana are full of derelict homes, without even the benefit of being declared unfit for habitation so that they can be bulldozed.
It's up to us to do something. In any other country, the mass relocation of people and the lack of aid would qualify those suffering as "refugees". We can call them something else, but if these people are not being helped to return to the place they came from, they are refugees in their own country.
Yesterday, while walking my 3 week old daughter to give my wife a break, I was watching Oprah. (I know -- a sorry state of affairs for the male of the family.) Having said that, Oprah was hosting a show where a whole new neighborhood was being opened up, and families who have been displaced by Katrina were being moved in. Each family was getting a fully furnished and outfitted home. FEMA hasn't been able to do what Oprah has -- FEMA is having problems just getting trailers to affected families. So, if you want to help to get homes to people who need them, consider visiting Oprah's website. There you can make a donation to her work creating homes for the homeless of Louisiana.
While we enjoy our own homes, we should give thanks by helping others to enjoy a home of their own too.