In observance of the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Bill Quigley at the Center for Constitutional Rights and Davida Finger, a professor at Loyola University New Orleans, have compiled the “Katrina Pain Index – 2009.”
Here’s just a sample of their findings:
0 — Number of renters in Louisiana who have received financial assistance from the $10 billion federal post-Katrina rebuilding program Road Home Community Development Block Grant – compared to 116,708 homeowners.
0 — Number of hospitals in New Orleans providing in-patient mental health care as of September 2009 despite post-Katrina increases in suicides and mental health problems.
2 — Number of Katrina cottages completed in Louisiana as of beginning of 2009 hurricane season under $74 million dollar federal program.
33 — Percent of 134,000 FEMA trailers in which Katrina and Rita storm survivors were housed after the storms, which are estimated by federal government to have had formaldehyde problems.
35 — Percent increase of demand in 2009 at emergency food programs in Orleans and surrounding parishes, “an increase pinned on the swelling ranks of under-employed and rising food, housing, and fuel costs.”
50 —Ranking of Louisiana among states for overall healthcare.
52 — Percent increase in rents in New Orleans since Katrina.
52 — Percent of federal rebuilding money allocated to New Orleans that has actually been received.
27,279 — Number of Louisiana homeowners who have applied for federal assistance in repair and rebuilding and who have been determined eligible for assistance but who have still not received any money.
30,396 — Number of children who have not returned to public school in New Orleans since Katrina. This reduction leaves the New Orleans public school population just over half of what it was pre-Katrina.
65,888 — Unoccupied addresses in New Orleans. This is 31 percent of the addresses in the City and nearly as many as Detroit, a city twice the size of New Orleans.
128,341 — Number of Louisianians looking for work.
98 million — Dollar amount of unemployment federal stimulus dollars rejected by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal that were available to bolster the unemployment compensation funds to assist 25,000 families in Louisiana and were rejected by Governor Bobby Jindal.
If you’re moved to take much needed action to support local efforts and national policies for a just recovery in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, check out the Katrina Action Network’s suggestions.