Thursday, August 09, 2007


Katrina relief funds are shrouded in red tape and plodding along at a snail's pace.

Celebs and others raised $30 MILLION for Katrina victims to rebuild. WHY has only approx. $1 million been spent?
Gov. Barbour is "in charge" of the bankroll they raised for the fund he set up called, Hurricane Recovery Fund.
Gulf Coast Community Foundation is the agency that began managing the distribution of funds in January 2006.
Distribution should have begun July 2006. It only began earlier this year.

REASONS for snail's pace and shroud:
1. Committee members had to create a process to spend and track the money.
2. Some money is on hold while organizers of rebuilding projects look for other funding sources.
3. Case managers helping victims through the application process are overloaded.
4. The Fund wants to distribute in a "responsible" way - or play the wait and see what victims' unmet needs are game.
5. MEANWHILE, the money is being INVESTED and earning INTEREST. (Which SHOULD create MORE money for VICTIMS)
6. BUT, "expenditures" – administrative costs of managing the fund and sponsoring the concert in the beginning have to be paid.
7. ONLY $5 million is for homebuilders to rebuild... and it can ONLY be for BUILDING MATERIALS.
8. Other "monies" will be for COMMUNITY and DAY-CARE CENTERS and AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
10. The FUND prefers VOLUNTEERS for the REBUILDING projects that they fund-as more time passes, this is not too realistic.
11. TIGHT REGULATIONS create problems with recovery. Example: Jackson Co. has over 3,000 open cases of people who NEED HOMES!!!

Speaking of TIGHT REGULATIONS, a Pascagoula man who co-owns his home with his niece "lived" in Georgia with his dying father 6 months PRIOR to Katrina. His home was destroyed. He was DENIED fundiing to rebuild because he hadn't been livig in it!!!
To add to this disgusting scenario, Bill Richardson who was appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour to oversee the fund said in reference to the Pascagoula man, "We have a very fair, easy-to-follow, accountable method. We're not going to give money to any project that does not have a clear (property) title, or to any project that wasn't owned and occupied and damaged by Katrina."
All I can say to that remark is that the "rules" for approval are as dumb as his use of grammar. According to Richardson, Katrina herself would have to own and occupy the home.


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