Real People Hurricane Relief

Real People Relief is for individuals, families and groups who wish to help a person or family directly, with no "middle man" "Be The Change" Ghandi "I pray that I may not be tempted, by indifference or selfishness to withhold from others the help I have received." Author Unknown to me

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Angel Y

Angel Y; Willard, Misty, Shalee, Katlyn, Christopher; Pepper, BabyGirl


Location: I was in Gulfport Ms,1 mile from the ocean front, I am now in Apache Junction,Az. Hope to be living out of Az with in the next year.

Number in Household: Willard 44, Angel 43, Misty 27, Shalee 10, Katlyn 8, Christopher 5
PETS Pepper,7 yr old pekingese; Baby Girl cat 4 yrs old

Situation - Lost everything in Katrina,uprooted and moved 2000 miles away,suffered thru 2 suicides, Husband still suffering thru illnesses from Katrina.

Living Arrangements: we live with my daughter, all of us in a 2 bedroom apt.

Help Received: FEMA, I get Medicaid.

Foods – Holiday Food For Christmas
Paper Products – Napkins, Toilet Paper, Paper Towels.
School Supplies –2 girls school back packs ,notebooks,crayons,folders.
Clothing – Listed below
Cleaning Supplies – Windex, Dishwashing liquid, Laundry detergent, etc.
Household Supplies –queen sized fitted sheets (flannel if possible) , glasses, silverware, bath towels-dish towels, dishcloths, pots, pans, mixing bowls, throw rugs

Stores I shop at: Frys grocery store,and walmart.

Angel-size 18 in elastic waist jeans,1X in tee shirts-xlg in long night gowns,size 9 in tennis shoes. Need socks.

Willard-size 34x33 in jeans,xlg in tee shirts,needs work boots size 10-needs socks.

Misty - Needs jeans size 10-11,size med in tops, size 6 1/2 in tennis shoe. Likes necklaces also-sterling silver. Sand and sable perfume and Liz Claiborne

Shalee , age 9 will be 10 in Jan
Needs all kinds of clothing, jeans size 8 or small 10,likes designs on the jeans, wears 10 in tops, loves bratz, Dr. Suess, adores jewelry. Needs nightgowns, panties, socks, and tennis shoes size 1 1/2 or 2. Loves board games, play makeup. Likes perfumes also.

Katlyn age 8-Katy needs all kinds of clothing, outfits, jeans, tops, all in a size 5,she needs cute little belts to hold her britches up, she likes bratz and care bears, strawberry shortcake, loves necklaces and perfume, loves baby dolls and stuffed teddy bears, wears size 11 1/2 in tennis shoes, doesnt like pink in color, needs panties, socks, and night gowns.

Little Christopher age 5 yrs.
He wears a 4 T in all clothing, needs outfits, jeans, underware, and shirts, and needs Pjs.
Loves all monster trucks that make sounds, and adores super man, batman, hulk, shrek, all those super hero guys, and loves sponge bob.
His favorite color is red.

Update 12/4
Sorry I havent emailed you, but I have had terrible toothache in 2 teeth, nasty infection, getting them pulled on Thurs.
You did a nice job on the blog sheet with our information,but I have a question,what is the chances of anyone reading our blog? I have been on blogs before,and no one ever viewed it or helped in any way. Im worried about christmas,and wonder about the chances of our family finding anyone to adopt us.


Dear Mr.Santa
We lived threw a terrible storm,but then we had to move 2000 ,miles away,just to have a bed to sleep in,I hope you recieve this letter so you wont forget where my family of 6 live,the storm took all we had,our family is having a real rough time,cant get back on our feet,before the storm hit my dad commited suicide,leaving my mom and my sister and brother to live with grandma and grandpa,we all lived in a trailor in Gulfport,Ms,and now most of the town is gone. Once we moved 2000 miles away-we stayed with my other grandparents,and in June my other grandpa commited suicide,the grandparents I live with are trying to get us adopted for Christmas,our family was in Sept adopted by Scrooge,he adopted us and then this week,he decided he didnt like us anymore,and that we would not be remembered after all,my grandma cryed,Santa,how can scrooge do this to our family so late in the season? We have a christmas tree,but grandma wont put it up if santa doesnt remember us. She says we will cry even more if were forgot about and nothing comes for under the tree.
We have been thru 2 suicides and the hurricane Katrina,so santa,will you remember our family,we need help with goodies to eat-food for christmas,and toys and clothing.
Santa please remember all the little kids and families back in Gulfport,I miss them.
Thank you santa.
Shalee Habel--and grandmas help.
Santa you may email our family at:

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Robert W and Family

Robert W.; Karen, Eileen, Victoria

email -
Location: - was in east biloxi with my wife 7 mths pregnant - the house was a total loss nothing left, then mother in laws living room, then the holiday cruise ship. Now in a moldy FEMA trailer in desparate need of repair. Where I want to be is in a safe home of our own with a yard for our girls to play in.

Number in Household: - 4 people my wife Karen 33,Eileen 1,Victoria 7 mths (Premmie) and myself Robert 38
Situation: we lost the house we were renting and belongings to Katrina. Eileen was born while we were on the cruise ship. We were moved to a FEMA mobile home 1 week before Thanksgiving 2005. On may 12th of this year our second daughter was born 3 and a half months premature she weighted 1.3 oz. Sept of this year she came home. We spent 4 months in Mobile AL. While in Mobile I had to give up my job at the IP Hotel and Casino and find one over in Mobile until Victoria came home. We can never seem to catch the bills up or find a place to decent place to live
Current Living Arrangements: -moldy FEMA mobile home with weakening floor
Help: - some money from FEMA and a FEMA mobile home, money from Red Cross, TANF 1 time payment, emergency food stamps, various clothes and food from different individuals and friends and family and churches
Needs: Help with getting a home or rental assistance
Foods any but especially fruits and vegetables and baby food, juice for the babies, speghettio's, spam, tuna
Paper Products Paper Towels, toilet paper, sanitary napkins, napkins, diapers size 5 and size 2, baby wipes
School Supplies notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, etc.

Computer Supplies Lexmark #1 ink cartridge, computer paper
Cleaning Supplies Windex, Dishwashing liquid, Laundry detergent, fabric softener, disinfectant spray, mop, pinesol
Household Supplies light bulbs, kitchen supplies (pans, pots, etc.), pot holders

men's size 36/30 pants (prefer wrangler jeans), men's large shirts,
women's size 18-20 pants or skirts prefer black or purple, XL or large women's shirts,
3-6 months girls clothing
12-18 months girls clothing
Stores you shop at: Walmart, WinnDixie, Target

3/4 We are unpacking and putting stuff away little by little. It's getting quite fun because the trailer we have is smaller than the FEMA one but this one has more useable space. We turned one bedroom into a storage room beacuse it was too small for really anything else.
We have some stuff put away and working on more. We had our first party here at our new house - Karen and I invited 2 friends of ours and broke in my new grill - it was a hit. There was not that much food left and we all left the table stuffed.
We are still looking for another rocker for the living room and a love seat.
I'm enjoying my new job at The Island View. They seem to like me and started me in one of the hardest stations - its called the island where you are in charge of all the salad, fruit and eggs made to order. I enjoy going to work now - LOL where as when I worked At IP and didnt like it at all - I was always stressed out and crabby
The trailer is older but more sturdy than the FEMA one. I have to give them the keys tomorrow - I will be so happy to do that! hehehe well just wanted to let you know whats going on

The good news is we found a house - its an older trailor and we are renting but hey! - it beats here and we don't have to deal with FEMA. It's a 2 bedroom 1 bath. We will be out of here by Saturday and we can't wait. It's not the same power company - the one the new trailor is on Mississippi Power. They are much cheaper besides the power company we have now tried to double charge me for something. Did I tell you I quit the IP and am going to work at the Island View - I start the 1st of March. The rent on the new trailor is 500 a month - you can't find hardly anything for under 700 a month and as far as buying goes - I kept getting the turn down saying you dont have enough or you got bad credit. Well we have a long day tomorrow - talk to you soon to let you know what happens.

We had no water pressure earlier now we have no water what so ever. I called F.E.M.A. - it's an emergency work order. They have 6 hours to respond but who can wait 6 hours without water and what I mean by no water is no bathing no toilet no nothing. I'm just so tired of fighting for every little crumb.
We get should get my W-2 sometime this week - after we file it's 2 weeks before we get it back. We have planned to use half of it as a down payment to get a house and get the heck out of here.
Eileen and Vickie are good. Karen still has a little trouble getting around some days. I'm looking for another job - last week was the last straw at IP. But we are making it and hope to get a place in the country to raise the girls.
Sorry for such a sour letter - LOL - but like I said I'm tired - but I'm happy. I have Karen and the girls.

Little Victoria is sick with 2 ear infections and a nasty cough. She's been to the Dr and he prescribed some meds for her, but they dont seem to be doing the trick - it sounds like its getting worse. Also Eileen is sick too but she's just got a cough and runny nose. Karen's still not feeling good but she's getting a little better. Me, I'm just tired - lol sleep deprivation is great! I'mlucky to get 2 hours sleep then go to work. We are working on getting a house and still fighting with FEMA. Then again why bother - Feb 28 we have to be out anyway

We had a really good Christmas thanks to some caring individuals that sent us some stuff and a Sunday school class full of elves who stopped by with presents galore including a grocery card and gas card (which made it possible for us to go to my mother-in-laws for Christmas). Karen's follow up visit with the doctor is January 3rd and she can't do much of anything until then. Everything is going ok though.

Happy New Year,


Karen's surgery went fine. She won't be able to lift anymore than 5 lbs until after the 3rd and needs help with the girls, cooking, and housework. We could sure use a couple meals or gift certificates to a take out restaurant if you know anyone who can help.

12/11 its 1:39 in the morning and I'm really tired but I have a chance to do this because everyone is asleep ok. Now for the update - my wife karen found out she has a hernia and is going to need surgery very soon the hernia is the size of a softball and is hard as a rock she can't eat hardly eat anything much less pick up our two kids. The light bill is in disconnect, there is no gas in the propane tank for the furnace and it's getting below freezing here as of late. My wife and I can put on extra clothes and the cold won't bother us that much but we have 2 infant girls one is 3 months and one is one year any help will be greatly welcomed.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Schonda S

Schonda S; Steven, Daniella, Holly; Chester


I’m from Waveland, Mississippi and lived there for over 13 years prior to Hurricane Katrina, our home is about two city blocks from the Gulf of Mexico.

My youngest daughter and step- son and I were in Tallahassee, Florida when Hurricane Katrina hit. It took us two days to return to Mississippi after the storm due to flooding and road outages and bridges blocked or destroyed.

Currently living in Virginia for the past year (while our home is being rebuilt).

We are not selling it - we have decided to stay on the Gulf Coast. We are letting it run the course of wait and see.

Number in Household:
There are four plus our dog in our household, Steven my husband (with dog Chester by his side); Daniella, our 17 year old who lives on campus at MS School of Math and Science; Myself and Holly (13 years old) living in Northern Virginia.

Although we left the Mississippi Gulf Coast and headed east prior to Katrina coming ashore, my husband Steve choose to stay further in land at our other property on Easterbrook Street in Bay St. Louis with the family dog in tow. Our home actually survived the storm and was the only home still standing after the hurricane hit. The bottom half of our home and all our possessions flooded out, but the frame of our home and most of the windows survived.
After the storm and a week of waiting for assistance, my husband told me to leave Mississippi with our youngest daughter Holly and go to Northern Virginia where I have family. Our oldest child Daniella is living on the college campus in Columbus, MS so she already had a place where she was safe. I am currently in Arlington, Virginia and continuing to paint fulltime, while freelancing as a Graphic Designer on the side. I’m trying desperately to find galleries or art studios that will showcase my artwork, I m having no luck with that. I tried hiring an agent only to find I was paying way too much and had to release that agent. I am spending money I don’t have for supplies and travel time trying to locate places to show my work. I could use some studio space but the cost of that is as much as I pay in rent. I’m looking for Grant money or assistance with purchasing art supplies and a space to work at what I love. We may even be home by spring 2007 in time for my oldest daughters’ graduation from MSMS

Art Supplies
I do a variety of art styles but my biggest request at this time are acrylics brushes, clear gloss varnish (Liquitex brand). I m looking to continue painting and showcasing my work but am finding it hard to get supplies at reasonable prices. I m not choosey about the canvas but I do prefer the gallery style they are easier to frame and look good if I do not frame them
Store I shop at:Online at Dick Blick -

We are pretty well set with the home items, we currently have an apartment - G H and Associates have provided that for us. We have furniture, clothing and food items, again thanks to the generousity of the community we live in.

my site is currently under construciton, I will have it up I hope by this weekend, I am also sending out my services as a web designer and graphic designer. I have a few sites under my belt such as The Arts, Hancock county, Mombo Graphix and a few here in Northern VA. my site address is and I will have it finished by this weekend.

Thanks for that,Schonda

Thanks for the end of the year letter, having those blogs keeps me informed on the goings on down south.
I see we are no longer the focal point for Washington, D.C news we are a thing of the past to date 12/28.
This natural disaster was all the thing in 2005 to early 2006, now we are lucky if the Washington Post puts a story in the papers Metro section. I'm trying to sell artwork to get back on track and am finding it difficult with no real connections in the area, but with lots of leg work and networking I pray 2006 will bring better days.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Lee Ann M

Lee Ann M.; Kenny, Beverly, Bevie Ann

Email: -, or

Location: - were-waveland ms, are-west point ms, want to be in a year-waveland ms again

Number in Household: Pets and my husband Kenny 41, my mom Beverly 53, my daughter Bevie Ann 2, and myself Lee Ann 26

Situation: right now we don't have enough income to pay all our bills and support ourselves my husband hasn't been able to find work here and we are waiting on a fema trailer or our house to be rebuilt whichever comes first we rode out the hurricane and we had to leave behind all our pets and everything so soon after losing our home we have struggled with our health both mental and physical since we have been here and we just want to make due till we get home

Current Living Arrangements: apartment for the time being but hoping a FEMA trailer soon

Help: - one rent check from fema and one gas bill and one electric bill from the red cross


We need help mostly right now with finances rent utilities etc. We are strapped for things like food, clothing, household cleaners, and toiletries. I have a 2 year old so diapers and things like that for her are hard to keep on hand sometimes.

Foods – Any non-perishable would be great.
Paper Products – Napkins, Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, etc.
Clothing – For 2 y.o. Girl, Diapers

Cleaning Supplies – Windex, Dishwashing liquid, Laundry detergent, etc.
Household Supplies – light bulbs, garbage bags,

Stores you shop at – Wal Mart

1/4 - A video narration of Leeann's story...

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Penny G

Penny G; Gabe, Alyssa, Alba; Fuzzyface and Spaz (cats)


Location: We evacuated from St Bernard parish before the hurricane, and have been in several states since then. We are currently back in Louisiana, but hope to relocate to Raleigh area, NC

NUMBER IN HOUSEHOLD: 6 Penny (38F), Gabe (36M), alyssa (8F), Alba (64F), Fuzzyface (2yo cat) and Spaz (2 yo cat)

SITUATION: We lived in St Bernard Parish before the storm, and lost everything. We have been in MS, AL, AR and NV since Katrina and are now back in LA. There are many people we've never met that have helped us with clothes and necessities. But we've found that as time passes, more and more people in other places treat those of us from the Storm with disdain and sometimes downright cruelty. We spent the longest amount of time in Nevada, and left when we couldn't take it anymore. People scrawled messages on our car, threw things at our door, taunted my daughter whenever she was outside....and as qualified as my husband and I both are, we were always "not right for the job" when it was known we were from LA. Haven't quite figured out what it is that makes so many look down on us Katrina victims, but many I have spoken with have had similar experiences.

CURRENT LIVING ARRANGEMENT: All 4 of us and the 2 cats are presently living in a 1 BR loft. Not much room, not too comfortable and no privacy....but with the present rental market in LA, it's all we can afford.

We had some help from FEMA in the beginning, but they stopped helping with rent because we didn't have "a realistic housing plan". We have been qualified for an SBA relocation loan and would like to buy a new home in NC, but have no place to stay there, so we try to make the trip back and forth as often as we can to search for a new home.

NEEDS: If anyone has a place that isn't being used in Raleigh area of NC, even if just for a few days, it would certainly help in housing search.
FOOD: We manage
COMPUTER SUPPLIES: Dell 924 printer Ink is always needed
SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Navy blue pants, skirts in size 10 plus could be used (my daughter rotates 2 skirts)
CLOTHING: Shoes seem to be what we needmost. Ladies size 10, men's size 10 or girl's 3.5

Christmas List
The one we are concerned about for Christmas is our daughter. She likes anything to do with science/nature, arts and crafts and of course, Bratz. Her biggest wish for months has been any type of portable game device (we travel a lot in our housing search and she gets bored in the car).

As for us, some new pillows would be great....ours have definitely seen better days!

We have just had to move into a 2BR apt. It is more comfortable, but a lot more expensive as well. They let us live together in a 1BR when there were no 2 BR available and now that 2BR have been rebuilt, we had to move into a larger unit.

The person who adopted us for Christmas has contacted me and I gave her the new address as well.

THanks for all your efforts....and still caring.
It really took a load off my mind to know that my daughter would have something for Christmas

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Roxanne D

Roxanne D and Family with 2 cats
Email: -
Location: - Houston Tx

Number in Household: - 7 including pets. 3 children ages 6yrs, 2yrs, 16yrs 2 adults ages 24 & 27. 1 cat & her baby
Situation: I have been living in Houston since Katrina. It's been an ongoing struggle since Katrina.
Current Living Arrangements: - In an apartment in Houston
Help: - I recieved help from Fema, and Katrinas Angels
Photos: - a link to one of our stories is on the 20/20 website.
Needs: Need help with Christmas gifts for the kids, warm clothing, shoes and food
Foods: non-perishable only
Paper Products: Napkins, Toilet Paper, Paper Towels,
Computer Supplies: dell ink for a 962 all-in-one copier printer fax
Cleaning Supplies: Windex, Dishwashing liquid, Laundry detergent, floor cleaner
Household Supplies: light bulbs, kitchen supplies forks & spoons
Clothing: my size is 28w jeans, 30-32 shirt, 12ww shoes.

Girl age 6 Raina is my niece. I have had her since she was 2yrs old. 14-16 clothing, sz 1 girl shoe. Raina loves Dora the Explorer! Anything associated with Dora she'd love it. She also loves to watch movies and "That's So Raven". She likes to color and draw. Raina likes to play dress up. Raina has big dreams for her future. She wants to be a doctor. She likes to play with toys that resembles doctor tools.

Boy age 2 Jareal is my nephew. I have had Jareal since he was 9months and a half, size 4T-5T clothes, 7 in shoe and 4 in diapers. Jareal loves Sponge Bob. He loves to watch the cartoons and play with Spongebob stuffed animals. One thing that he truly loves is wearing Spongebob on his clothing. I also noticed that he likes to play with legos and build things
Boy age 16 Calver is my cousin. We could not locate his mother after Katrina, so I took him in. sz 36 in pants 2x in shirts and mens 11 in shoes. I'd love to get him a TV so he can play video games.
Man sz 44 in pants sz 4x in shirts and sz 13 in shoes
Myself - I just want the kids to be happy and cared for. I'm in school and recieve SSI for a work related injury in the New Orleans Convention Center. I was a Security Guard. The money I recieve monthly all goes on bills. Not a dollar left and still fall short of funds. I'm in school trying to better myself to provide a decent life for my family.

Can food for cats.
Stores you shop at: Shop mostly at walmart and payless

Monday, November 13, 2006

Christa H

Christa H; Aldo, Eva, Josephine; 2 cats and 1 dog

Email: -
Location: - where you were: New Orleans went to Jackson MS and then Michigan during hurricane
where you are: Back inNew Orleans
where you plan to be in a year: I plan to stay here until New Orleans is no more

Number in Household: - Aldo Male 35, Christa Female 34, Eva Female 11, Josephine Female 3, Cats-Shadow and Minou Dog-Cita

Situation: When the hurricane was coming, my neighbor offered to take my daughters, my cats and myself to JacksonMississippi. Their father decided to stay behind with the dog and watch his job's vehicles. When we went to Jackson the power was out for a week and my fiance was unreachablethe whole week. My aunt from Michigan came down and got us and brought us up there to be with family.

After 2 months my fiance came up from Texas and brought us back to New Orleans. Our apartment did not flood but the roof was destroyed. A lot of our belongings were wet and moldy. Our landlord got the roof fixed and we cleaned most of the nastiness inside. The walls and ceilings still have holes but it is better than not having anywhere to live. We applied with fema and received enough to get beds, a futon, some clothes, etc...Red Cross gave us the initial amount (they were really nice) they also gave us essentials, Foodstamps, WIC.

Current Living Arrangements: - Apartment with lots of holes

Help: Fema, Red Cross

Foods: Soups (but not Tomato) Canned veggies, canned broth; dog food, cat food, flea meds
Paper Products Who can't use toilet paper with 3 girls it can get costly
Clothing: Blue school pants for 3t girl
Cleaning Supplies: Bleach, X14
Household Supplies: Pots
Stores you shop at for possible gift cards or gift registry:WalMart, SavACenter, Sears, JCPenney,Walgreens

I was wondering if anyone that can, please pray for my sister's 9month son. He was diagnosed with RSV which is a respiratory disease. She was told today that if he isn't breathing better by tomorrow he will have to be hospitilized. They finally came back to Metairie in October and now they all keep getting sick like the rest of us around here. Please keep Antonio in your prayers. Thank you very much,Christa
11/26 Update
Josie just finished celebrating her birthday. She turned 3 years old. My younger sister finally got to come back down here from Tennessee and we combined her son and Josie's birthday parties together. They had a ton of fun.
Eva is doing great as usual in school. Straight A's on her report card. She is growing up so fast.
The cool weather is coming back so I can start working outside on myfurniture that was ruined. It's alot of work but worth it.
I refused to give my chairs up and promised Aldo I will finish them this winter. What a job!
I won volunteer of the year for my daughter's Head Start school which is part of Catholic Charities.
Well that is all that has been going ondown here in my neck of the woods.

Christmas wish list: The only real things my girls need are clothes for cold and warm weather. Eva is in a size 10 and Josie is in a size 3T. They both LOVE books. Eva reads with a 12th grade comprehension.
Josie loves to paint. She could use a smock so the paint stays off of her clothes. Eva loves science related toys.
Josie's favorite color is Pink and she likes TheBackyardigan's and Cinderella. Eva's favorite color is Dark purple and she likes HelloKitty.
Household wise we really could use twin sheet sets for the girls and towels.

I really appreciate everything you and everyone is doing for us down here. I don't know how most of us down here could have made it as far as we are without the help from people like all of you.

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Health Information

11/14 - Sent by Hancock County VOA

Dates and times for flu shots - November Schedule:

November 17 Prime Outlet Mall, South Side

November 20 Big Lots, Pass Road

November 21 Steinmart, Pass Road

November 27 Academy Sports, Highway 49

November 28 Americans Thrift Store, Pass Road

these shots are free - the times are from 8:30AM till Noon and 1:00PM till 3:30 PM

Look for the HCA Van - Memorial Hospital at Gulfport

Adult Screenings Offered:

Blood Pressure
Glucose(for those adults who have fasted)
Adult screening are offered once a month for Foot Sensation and Stroke screening


Hepatitis B
Pediatric DT
Influenza (seasonal)

* We administer the Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine at the hospital due to the necessity of refrigeration limitations.



Case Coordinator

All found on AOL

ASK FOR A DEAL The rate that your doctor charges isn't set in stone. According to a 2005 Harris Interactive poll, about two-thirds of adults who negotiated for lower prices with a hospital or dentist succeeded, as did three out of five adults who bargained with their doctor. If you're paying out of pocket or face a high deductible, call your insurer's customer service number and ask about the rates it pays physicians in your area, which are typically lower than the sticker price set by providers. Then ask your doctor if he'll accept a similar amount.
I know this one to be true. If you have cash in hand, it's more than 30% less.

GET THE FACTS The more you know about the real cost of your care, the better you'll be able to negotiate discounts. Costs for 30 common hospital procedures can be found at, the website of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

LOOK FOR MISTAKES As many as eight out of 10 hospital bills contain errors, increasing the tab by 25% on average. Keep a log of every test and medication you get, and check it against your medical file, which you can order from the hospital's billing office. If you spot an error, send a certified letter requesting a corrected bill, and a copy of all documentation to your insurer.

The Insurance Maze
CHECK UP BEFORE YOU CHECK IN Radiologists, anesthesiologists and other specialists don't always accept the same insurance as the doctor who admits you to the hospital. Call your doctor to get the names of the medical providers who will be involved in your treatment, and verify with your insurer that they're in the network

TRACK YOUR SPENDING Do you know when you've met your deductibles or how much money is left in your health FSA? Programs such as Quicken's Medical Expense Manager ($50 at can tell you and also alert you to potential savings such as overlooked tax deductions and possible billing errors.
Tax deductions - if your medical bills exceed 7.5% of your income, you can deduct it on Federal Tax Returns. That's a high bar, but the list of eligible expenses is extensive, including insurance premiums, dental X-rays, fertility treatments, prescribed weight-loss and stop-smoking programs and even LASIK eye surgery. See for the details.

BE FLEXIBLE Add up your co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket medical expenses from last year to figure out how much to put into your flexible spending account (FSA) (your benefits department can tell you what's eligible). For every $1,000 you put in, you'll slash about $300 in taxes.

DON'T LOSE IT You'll forfeit any funds in your FSA that you don't use by the end of the year or by March of the following year (depending on your company). Need to get rid of some bucks? Stock up on over-the-counter medical supplies like Band-Aids, cold and flu tablets and aspirin; order a six-month supply of contact lenses and solution; or schedule an extra session with your shrink, if you've exceeded the number of therapist visits covered by your health plan.

CONSIDER AN HSA If you have a high-deductible health plan (at least $1,050 for individuals; $2,100 for families), you are eligible to fund a health savings account (HSA), which you can tap to pay medical expenses. You'll save about $1,500 in taxes for every $5,000 you put into an HSA. Any funds you don't use will grow tax-free and can be rolled over from year to year.

CHOOSE WISELY Don't just take the easy way out during open enrollment and sign up for the same health plan as you had last year. These days the difference in premiums is small, ranging from an average of $590 a year for an HMO to $637 for a PPO; the real differences lie in the plans' co-pays and deductibles. To figure out which option is best for you, estimate what your total annual costs are likely to be under each plan, depending on your family's medical needs (many companies have online calculator tools to help figure this out). If you have kids, you'll likely want a plan with low co-pays for doctor visits and good coverage for preventive care; if you're young and healthy, a plan with higher deductibles and lower monthly premiums may be a better bet.Or, take one with a higher deductible and put the extra money into a sock for when you do go to the doctor.

GET WHAT YOU DESERVE Are you paying the tab for acupuncture or chiropractic care? Check your insurer's website or call the help line to see if your plan covers alternative medicine treatments. Some 87% now do. Many also offer discounts on preventive measures like vitamins and bike helmets.

DON'T BE DENIED Your insurer refused your claim? Fight back. Begin with a phone call to customer service, and if that doesn't work, put your appeal in writing. Document everything, including the times of calls and the names of the reps you spoke with. "Every plan has an appeals process that you must follow to the letter," says Robert Bland of, a consumer information website. For more information, download the Kaiser Family Foundation's guide to handling disputes with your employer or private health plan (

HIRE EXPERT HELP Buried under thousands of dollars in bills and claim denials you can't resolve? Consider hiring a professional billing and claims specialist to help you resolve disputes. You'll pay $50 to $250 an hour, but you may save up to 40% on your bills. To find specialists in your area, go to and

FOLLOW THE RULES Read the fine print on your plan to find out your insurer's requirements for referrals and pre-certification. You're likely to need them for expensive procedures like an MRI, which can cost you more than a thousand dollars if your insurer refuses to pick up the bill.

CHECK YOURSELF OUT If you're in the market for a new policy and you've applied for individual health, life, disability or long-term-care insurance in the past seven years, go to to see whether this insurance industry antifraud group has a file on you. Request a copy (it's free) to make sure the information provided about your health status is right. If you find a mistake, ask for a correction in writing ASAP. Errors can drive up your premiums by hundreds of dollars a year.

STAY INSURED Leaving your job next year? Switch to the lowest-cost plan during this year's open enrollment. Then, after you quit, federal rules (known as COBRA) will let you stay on your employer's health plan for up to 18 months, although you'll usually have to pay the full cost, plus 2%. Once you've tapped out COBRA, you must sign up for a new policy within 63 days or insurers can legally turn you down or refuse to cover pre-existing conditions.

FOLLOW DOCTOR'S ORDERS Roughly half of all patients don't follow instructions about taking medicine, which results in 10% of hospital visits a year, according to the Merck Manual of Medical Information. Simply doing what you're told can save you your out-of-pocket share of the average $8,200 cost of a hospital stay.

EQUIP YOURSELF Hospitals charge a significant markup on equipment like crutches or braces, so you're almost always better off buying them on your own.
Emotional Counsel If you're seeing a mental-health therapist every week, you're probably footing much of the bill: Most health plans limit coverage to 30 visits a year. You can cut the cost by going to a certified counselor or clinical social worker (average fee: $90 an hour) instead of a psychologist (around $120). A recent survey found no difference in effectiveness.

Medication Game
ASK FOR SAMPLES Drug companies give away tons of samples to physicians, so your doctor may be able to supply you with several weeks' worth of medication at no charge. Bonus: If you discover after a few days that the cream for your rash isn't working, you won't be left with an expensive tube of goo you can't use.

GRAB GENERICS Whenever you can, opt for generic drugs, which on average cost less than a third as much as their brand-name counterparts, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. If you're paying retail for one prescription a month, you'll save $863 a year by going with the generic version instead of the brand name. Got drug coverage? You'll still save $13 on the average prescription co-pay, or $156 for a year's supply. And don't forget about over-the-counter medications: By sticking to the no-name store brand, you'll save $100 of the $400 that the average American spends annually on over-the-counter drugs.

FIND A CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE... If there is no generic version of a brand-name drug you're taking, ask your doctor about a therapeutic substitute or an older drug in the same category. A drug that has been on the market for more than 10 years will almost always have a generic version available.

GO POSTAL Call your drug insurer, a.k.a. your pharmacy benefits manager, and ask if you can order your prescriptions directly from the plan. Typically you will save 15% to 35% on your monthly co-payments at the pharmacy, or nearly $90 a year on the average prescription.

OR BUY ONLINE You may find the best deal of all at an online drugstore, particularly if you order more than one prescription at a time. Recently, for example, you could order a 90-day supply of Lipitor, a popular cholesterol-lowering drug, for $306, or as much as 30% off typical retail prices, at To make sure a site is legit, check to see that it carries the seal of the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS), a quality-control program sponsored by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy ( 'EM UP High-dose pills are generally priced the same as their low-dose counterparts, so ask your doctor if you can safely split a higher-dosage pill in half. You'll save about $179 to $610 a year per prescription if you don't have drug coverage or 50% on your co-pays if you do.

SHOP MOM AND POP The federal government doesn't regulate prices on drugs sold at pharmacies, so your costs can vary widely depending on where you buy. In New York City, for example, the price for 30 tablets of the widely prescribed antidepressant Paxil recently ranged from $97 to $180 at various stores.

SIGN UP FOR MEDICARE PART D Open enrollment for the government's drug plan for seniors runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31. If you're 65 or older and don't currently have drug coverage, sign up as soon as you can. Average savings on drug costs: 28%. If you delay and need coverage in the future, you'll get hit with a permanent penalty of 1% of your premium for every month you were eligible and didn't enroll. If you're in good health now, simply choose the lowest-cost plan in your area; you should be able to find one with premiums of less than $10 a month. Already enrolled? Now is your opportunity to switch to a different plan if you're not satisfied with the one you have. Compare plans in your area at

GO FOR THE DISCOUNT No drug coverage? Visit the Partnership for Prescription Assistance website (, which has links to more than 400 patient-assistance programs offering discounts on more than 2,500 medications. Most programs require you to demonstrate financial need. But some, such as Merck's discount card, are open to all income levels.

These days most dental insurance works much like the typical health insurance plan, in which you pay a lot less if you use providers in the insurer's network than if you go outside the plan. If you haven't yet switched from your out-of-network family dentist to a practitioner who's on your plan, what are you waiting for? Your savings: 15% to 35% on the cost of most routine dental procedures, according to Mercer, a human-resources consulting firm.

JOIN A DISCOUNT CLUB No dental coverage? Enroll in a discount dental plan, offered through major insurance companies like Aetna, Cigna and WellPoint. You'll pay about $100 a year ($150 for families) and save 20% to 30% on the cost of treatment by participating dentists. Just make sure that the network has practitioners in your area before you enroll and that the plan itself is legit (there have been a few cases of fraud) by checking to see if it's registered with your state insurance commissioner (

GO TO DENTAL SCHOOL If you're looking for bigger savings than the discount plans offer, try going to a clinic at a major dental school, staffed by closely supervised students in their final two years of training. (For a school near you, search for DDS/DMD programs at These clinics charge about 50% less than dentists in private practice. One caveat: You could end up spending twice as long in the dentist's chair (hey, they're still learning).

CHOOSE CHEAPER FILLINGS Many consumers opt for the aesthetic appeal of resin-based fillings, which are tooth-colored, instead of the old metallic (a.k.a. amalgam) variety. But amalgam fillings are 20% cheaper, and they last longer too.

TAKE AN ASPIRIN...and maybe you won't have to call any doctor in the morning. If you're a man over 40, a woman past menopause or a smoker or have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or a family history of heart disease, you can sharply lower your risk of a heart attack by taking an aspirin every day or every other day (consult your doctor first). The cost of aspirin: about 20¢ a day. The average cost of treating a heart attack: $25,000, including hospital, doctor and drug bills.

STRESS LESS Between 60% and 90% of doctor visits stem from stress-related factors, says Dr. Herbert Benson, founder of the Mind/Body Medical Institute. So chill out: Take a yoga class, listen to music and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.

STUB YOUR BUTT $4.35 a pack on average or more than $1,500 a year if you smoke a pack a day. But consider the extra costs of lighting up: $1,600 more a year in health-care costs than for nonsmokers, plus a 10% surcharge on homeowners insurance and up to 300% on individual life policies, not to mention higher dry-cleaning and dental bills. And you may soon be paying more for health insurance at work too. By 2008, 25% of companies expect to impose penalties for bad health behavior, such as higher deductibles and premiums for smokers.

PUT A CORK IN IT If you're a binge drinker (routinely imbibing a minimum of four to five drinks at a sitting), you'll average $900 a year more in medical expenses compared with a teetotaler, according to the Lewin Group. To avoid these costs and stay healthy, have no more than one drink a day if you're a woman, two if you're a man. Plus, that $40 bottle of your favorite Bordeaux will last twice as long.

GET MOVING Obese people pay about 26% more in medical costs than those who are in shape. So joining a gym or taking a dance class is a smart investment in your health. Or buy a pedometer (about $20) and aim to walk at least 10,000 steps each day.

GET A LUNCHBOX Brown-bagging your lunch can help you lose weight since home-cooked eats contain 20% less fat on average than restaurant meals, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bonus: Skipping the $6 deli sandwich could save you about $1,000 a year.

WASH UP Americans pay about $200 a year on flu treatments and countless more for colds but routinely neglect the best preventive treatment: soap and water. So get into the habit of scrubbing your hands for about 15 seconds, especially around the nails, before eating or handling food and after contact with any potential contaminants. Turns out Mom really did know best.

LET THE BOSS HELP Take advantage of any wellness benefits that your company offers. About six out of 10 large companies now offer benefits like smoking-cessation classes, discounts on gym memberships and health risk assessments.

ADULT-PROOF YOUR HOME Home accidents rank among the top reasons for visits to the emergency room. Some easy ways to make your home safer and avoid the $560 average tab of a trip to the ER: Install handrails along both sides of the stairs, use nightlights, put nonslick strips in tubs, check smoke alarm batteries every month and keep candles at least three feet from anything that can burn. (For more tips, go to

FLOSS DAILY It's the best way to prevent periodontal disease (cost of treatment: from $200 for minor problems to $2,000 or more to replace a tooth).

QUESTION YOUR TESTS You could spend thousands a year on cutting-edge medical tests, which usually aren't covered by insurance. Or you could hold on to that cash by sticking mostly with the baseline tests recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (, which makes recommendations for patients based on recent research.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Nehemiah J

Nehemiah J; Michael, Destiny

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Number in Household: Nehemiah, Destiny (4), Michael (3)
Situation: We lived in the Eastern part of New Orleans. We lost our home, my car, my job, my school and all of our personal property. It was one of the most horrible experienses. We couldn't fit all of our family membersin the car - that hurt the most. We evacuated to MS first because of all the traffic heading to TX. We woke up to trees on cars, power lines down, phone lines down - for a week and a half.
Current Living Arrangements: We registered with FEMA and are now in Atlanta GA.
I have a part time job that barely pays the rent and struggle just to eat because food stamps haven't come through during that time.
Help: FEMA
Help with utilities
Help with Rent
Full Time Job!
Clothes for the children
Christmas presents for the children:
For Destiny - Bratz dolls and Disney's Cheetah Girls stuff
For Michael - Anything Tonka!

Toni L-M

Toni L-M.; Craig, Clarence, Ciara, Bubba & Antonio; 2 dogs

Situation: We lived in Metairie,La pre Katrina, we lost our house & everything in it.(5feet of water &a tornado took the roof off) We evacuated to Texas, then ended up in Lebanon, TN. We just recently moved back to Metairie, La in October. We plan on staying here.
Number in Household: We are a family of 6, my hubby Craig 47, Clarence 15(son), Ciara8(daughter), Bubba 6(son) & Antonio 6 1/2mos (son), we also have 2 German Shepard's, Tupac & Diamond. And of course myself Toni!
Situation: The past year has been very challenging since the hurricane. We lost everything, including our jobs & everything we owned. We also found out I was pregnant 2 weeks after the hurricane. We had been trying for 3 months prior to the hurricane. We kept our faith & by the GRACE of GOD we have made it. The people in TN were very king, but after I had the baby I got very depressed & everything kind of hit me at once. My family was all back home in New Orleans & I was missing them. My husband did not have the great job, I wasn't working because of post partum depression. We made a decision & moved back home. We are both working now, but it is still a struggle. The rent is so high here. We did not have insurance & but were grateful to get the few dollars we received from FEMA.
We have never struggled like this before living check to check, it is real hard.
I just hope & pray the kids can have a CHRISTmas this year. They really don't understand what has happened. I don't know if that is a good thing or bad??
We are living in a house in Metairie, La.

We need the following:
Paper products:
paper towels, paper plates, toilet paper,
Cleaning supplies: ANY KIND
Household supplies: spoons, light bulbs, garbage can, kitchen table & chairs

size 5-6 boys ;
size 14 girls;
34 waist mens, XL shirt mens;
any baby boy clothes 9-12 months.
We mainly shop at WALMART or KMART

Thank you & everyone for all the prayers. We are still here in the hospital, Ocshner Hospital in Metairie, La. Antonio was diagnosed Monday with RSV, they sent him home with an Albuterol inhaler, but by him being 8 months old, he did not respond well to the treatment. I brought him to the doctor on Tuesday morning & he gave him a nebulizer to do breathing treatments with Albuterol every 2 hours. By Tuesday night he was lethargic & could barley breathe. I brought him to the ER & they kept trying to get his oxygen levels up because they were very low. The treatments would not work, they then put him on an oxygen tank & continued the breathing treatments every 2 hours. They admitted him & we have been here ever since. He is eating & drinking now, but still having trouble breathing on his own. He is still on the oxygen & breathing treatments, but now every 3 hours. His oxygen levels go up & down & he still retracts when breathing. We are at a stand still right now! Please pray for him & our family to stay strong.

Thank you & GOD bless,

Toni Labat- Moore

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Katie, Caleb, and Mauricio
Email: -
Location: - Hastings, NebraskaNumber in Household: - Katie, 23, Caleb, 2, Mauricio, 24
Situation: Hi, My name is Katie and I am the mother of the best 2 year old little boy. We went through soo much last year. Mauricio and I decided to was best to give our 2nd son up for adoption in June. It was what is best for him and we dont regret doing it. I lost my grandfather in July - he raised me. The hurricanes hit in August. We spent last Thanksgiving and Christmas in a hotel. Caleb got No presents last year for Christmas.
It has been hard for us to get on our feet.
Current Living Arrangements: - an apartment we are renting
Help: - FEMA
Needs: We need help getting Caleb toys that will help with his reading and speaking skills. He has a speech delay that we are getting help for him, but any toys that enhance his speech skills are so important.
Mauricio and I want to get married, Christmas or March - and any kind of help with wedding stuff would be appreciated. We also need help with the rent for December and January. Mauricio cooks for the college here and when they have off so does he. So we are nervous about rent and electricity!!

Christmas decorations for the house to make it seem more festive.

I'm really worried. Rent is coming due, we don't have the money and Mauricio will be laid off from the university for Winter Break. I don't know what we'll be doing for money during that time! Can anyone help?

I sent Katie information on TANF, LIHEAP, and single parent resources to hopefully find a steady source of assistance. But anything anyone can help with would be greatly appreciated. Email her if you can help her.


Alysia C; Michael, Tyson, Vada; 3 Dogs, 2 Cats and Some Fish

Email: -,
Location: - We were in (St. Charles Parish) about to move into New Orleans. We are now in the Broadmoor neighborhood of New Orleans in a rental. In a year, we would still like to be in New Orleans in a house of our own and I, hopefully, starting med. school.
Number in Household: - myself: 28; Michael: my spouse, 30; Tyson: our son, 3 1/2; Vada: our daughter, her 1st. birthday is on the 7th; Rufus: our 9 yr. old male rescue dog; Beaux: our 9 yr. old male rescue lab mix; Shadow: our 1 yr. old male rescue shepherd mix; Chewey: our 4 yr. old male rescue cat; Sage: our 7 yr. old female rescue cat; and some fish.

Situation: For the past year, our life has been one really big roller coaster ride. Every time we think we're finally about to get out of this really big hole, something else knocks us back down. Before Katrina, my husband and I had just finished school and we were expecting our 2nd child. We were just starting to get settled as a family and in our professions. I was going to apply to med school and Michael had started his career. Katrina came, we had no place to stay, and no jobs. We applied for help with Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army for rental assistance and both said they were going to, then they ran out of funding. I started working about a month ago after I managed to get the kids enrolled in Head Start. I've applied for assistance with Modest Needs, but we have not been granted anything. Every time someone says they're going to help, something happens and they can't. Our landlord has been really patient and understanding, but he needs his money too. We're trying to catch up, but it's difficult. We also applied for a house with Habitat, but we were denied because our credit has gotten so bad since Katrina. We got behind in all of our bills and still have not been able to catch up. I didn't even know you could get denied by Habitat. We don't make enough money to survive in this city since the cost of rent and utilities has gone up. Also, our kids have elevated levels of lead in their blood and we're concerned about where the exposure is coming from. They will be retested this month.

Current Living Arrangements: - We are in 1/2 of a double in the Broadmoor neighborhood in New Orleans. It is a rental.
Help: - We received the $2000 from Fema, and $975 from the Salvation Army. All of it went to car notes and car insurance and a couch.
Needs: We recently found out that we need a new set of tires. We have gotten so many nails in our tires that they are now bad. We are driving on our spare right now since our last tire was deemed irreparable. If we lose our transportation, then I won't be able to work. I rely on the car to get the kids to school. If they aren't in school then I can't work.
Paper Products toilet paper, paper towels, clorox kitchen wipes.
Diapers size 3
Cleaning Supplies laundry detergent, sponges, broom, dust pan
Household Supplies light bulbs

Tyson is size 4T and wears shoe size 10T.
Vada needs size 18M and size 4T shoes.
We don't have much winter clothes or pajamas for her.
Stores you shop at: We shop at Old Navy, Wal-Mart, Target

12/1 The gas company finally came out and blew out our lines, so we have hot water and heat again. Tyson's starting to get excited about Christmas. Beau is getting chubby b/c I haven't been able to take the dogs running in a couple of weeks. Vada is walking pretty good now. She's still a little slow, but she'll be chasing Tyson in no time. I'm sending some recent pictures.

You heard the good news about the tires, so some stress has been relieved. Unfortunatley, the forbearance period on my husband's loans has ended, so now we have another bill to add to our monthly struggles. I just wish that we had the credit to get a home loan, then maybe it wouldn't be so difficult. That is my Christmas "Wish" that somehow we would be able to get a house of our own. I daydream about it a lot. We would have a yard to play in, and a dishwasher, and central heat to keep warm. I would love to have a closet so I could actually put my clothes away instead of on the floor. I could keep going, but eventually it just makes me sad and I get depressed. Maybe one day.

11/23 Good News!
Okay, I have to take back my pessimism b/c we got the grant from modest needs. i'm sorry for being so negative, but I really thought we were going to be denied again. We were approved and we already got the check in the mail. It actually showed up! They said they were sending it and they really did. It was great. We've got our new tires and they come with a warranty so we don't have to worry about future flats. Thank you so much for the suggestion and the prayers. Alysia

Monday, November 06, 2006


Stephanie S, Shane, Collin, Abigail
Email: -
Location: Were in Lacombe, LA now Benton, AR. A year from now Benton, AR
Number in Household: - myself age 24 female; Shane age 26 male; Collin age 4 male; Abigail age 2 female; 2 female dogs
Situation: We left the Saturday before the hurricane and came to Little Rock. We have been here ever since. We have received some help through FEMA but right now they are over a month late on paying my rent. We must stay here in Arkansas for a while as we can't afford rent back home. Shane lost his job for about a month, and has just started working again, making it difficult to keep the house running. My insurance on my car is going to be cancelled this month if I dont come up with the money. We do like it here in Arkansas. I just really miss my family. We know not one person here which makes it hard but we are surviving I guess.
Current Living Arrangements: - renting a house
Help: - FEMA, Red Cross
Foods: Non-Perishable Only; Dry Dog Food Thanksgiving for sure. A food basket or something would be nice
Paper Products: Toilet Paper, Paper Towels
Cleaning Supplies: Dishwashing liquid, Laundry detergent, etc.
girl age 2 size 3t winter clothing
boy age 4 size 5 winter clothing
female age 24 pants size 14 shirts large winter clothing
male age 26 pants size 42-32 shirts size 3X winter clothing
Stores you shop at: Wal-Mart, Target, Old Navy, Kohls, Goodys

My husband went back to work Nov. 2 and we started to make some money again. In the mean time though I had tried to call catholic charties and see if they coud help us out. Get us caught up on our bills so that maybe just maybe we would have a chance to start over yet again. Well I never heard back from them. I have called themseveral times since and they still say they are waiting on the goahead to help.
Ok so back to FEMA. In Oct we also found out that fema was paying our old landlord rent plus paying us rent. well we talked to fraud and all and know this has come to bite us in the butt. The money we recieved in nov was for Oct, Nov, and Dec. But since fema was paying the landlord also up untill OCT. they are saying that rent money is for Nov, Dec and Jan. so now I dont have the money to pay Jan rent.We ended up paying it but for the last week my husband has been out of a job b/c he is switching jobs and going to a better paying job with more hours. But it is putting us further in the hole to begin with.Our electricity is about to be cut off, along with my car insurance. My phone is the same way. every bill that we have is at least amonth past due. My garbage is way way overdue.
I feel like I am in this never ending circle. Everytime things lookgood something happens to pull us back under. I cant wait for myhusbands W2 to come. We were supposed to get a nice used car with it but i guess we are going to pray that we can get everything paid off with it instead. That is if we even have anything by then.
If anyone knows any place, person, or thing that can help us. we are so despreate at this point.
These are the places that we have gone: CJOHN( a local place)- we got a box of food from them and can only do so every six months; Catholic charties seems to be no help; Salvation Army has a list a mile long and we applied to modest needs a lil over a year ago for a new set of tires so I am not sure if we can apply again.
We are starting to get back on track again. All we need is just that little bit of help to get back even with our bills and such. Catholic Charties has let us down yet again. We have been trying to receive help from them for almost 2 months. We are in need of the basics so that all of our money can go toward rent and bills. things such as diapers, wipes, toilet paper, dish soap, laudry detergent, and garbage bags. stuff like that. things that food stamps doesnt pay for.

I am not asking for any toys for my children this christmas. I would like though to get a tree or some decorations. This is not really needed just wanted. My children have been given some clothing so they are really doing ok. Yes they could use toys but they dont need them.

Also if anyone is willing to adopt of two dogs that would be a blessing. We really just can't afford to take care of them. They are both females and have been fixed.

My husband is in desperate need of black pants size 42X32. He ripped his last good pair last night. He needs these to work in at work. Today he wwent to work in ones that have been torn at the feet. He really really needs at least one pair.
Thanks Stephanie

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Saturday, November 04, 2006


Debbie C; Bill
Email: -
Location: - I lived in Waveland, MS. Currently living in a FEMA camper in Kiln, MS. I don't know where I will be in a year, but would like to be in a home of my own.
Number in Household: - Currently because of limited space there is just my husband, Bill, age 60 and myself, age 48. My daughter Melissa, age 20 is staying with my brother in WV and my oldest daughter Samantha, age 23 and her two children Cassie, age 5 and Christopher, age 3 are staying with a friend in another camper in Waveland, MS.

Situation: My husband, my daughter, and myself were in an apartment in Waveland, MS when the hurricane hit. My husband had just gotten out of the hospital the day before after having triple by-pass surgery. We swam out of the apartment when the water was up to our necks. My husband broke the wires holding his breastbone together and lost all his postsurgery meds. He had to be evacuated to Jackson on Wednesday and my daughter and I were taken to West Point on Friday by a church group working with the Red Cross. From there my husband's son came from Kansas City, MO and took us to their home. We finally got a FEMA camper in the last part of March so that I could go back to work.
Current Living Arrangements: - FEMA Trailer
Help: We have received rental assistance from FEMA while in Missouri, also money to replace some things that we lost from FEMA and Red Cross.
Computer Supplies: paper and ink HP92 and 93
Cleaning Supplies: Windex, Dishwashing liquid, Laundry detergent, etc.
Household Supplies: sheets-queen size, towels, garbage bags
Clothing mens size 42x30 pants 2X shirts
womens size 14 pants size L shirts mostly jeans and dark colors
Stores you shop at: Walmart and Kmart

I was reading about the insurance hikes and how it seems that they are taking advantage of everyone. I have another one for you. I contacted the Public Service Commission about this and they say they are not over this particular utility. We moved to a Fema trailer in March 2006 after having been in Missouri for a little over 6 months due to losing our residence in Katrina.
When we finally got them to place a camper on property so that I could go back to my job, we went to get water connected along with electric, etc. The water company made us sign a contract saying that even if we moved we would pay for water for 2 years. Fema moved us to a mobile home in January 2007. I paid the water that was owed when we moved. But now they are billing me for months that I didn't live there.
Yes I signed a contract but the situation was if you didn't sign the contract, you didn't get your water turned on and Fema wouldn't have left the camper there with no water turned on. That was one of the things you have to do before they turn the camper over to you to live in.
How fair is this? It is another way to take advantage of those that are trying to piece their life back together. I may get sued over this or have it put against my credit but I am not paying for 14 months of water which I am not using.
Hopefully they don't put it against me because I am trying to buy a house so that I can get out of Fema assisted living. But regardless I don't think you should have to pay for something that you are not using.

Sorry I didn't answer sooner, but have been sick. I thought it was a cold but it settled into my chest and had to get antibiotics. I think it was pnuemonia again. Didn't have an xray. Can't afford it. But this is like the third time since Katrina. And I never had respiratory problems before. Makes me wonder.
These mobile homes come furnished so I really don't need anything furniture wise. I have been trying to find some sheets, queen size, and full. I have one for each bed but when you have to constantly take them off, wash them, and put them back they wear out pretty fast. And they weren't new to begin with.
My husband takes medicine for high blood pressure, which they just doubled his dosage right before we moved because he was very stressed out over the situation we were in and it caused his blood pressure to soar. He also takes lasix(don't know if I spelled that right). To prevent fluid build up. And aspirin. But he is on MS medicaid so he doesn't have a problem getting his meds. He just is constantly in pain because when we swam out he broke wires holding his breast bone in place and they didn't mend and are loose.
Thanks for being happy for me. That is what I want. Most people think you want their pity, but they are totally wrong. I just want someone to help me celebrate every little victory because that is another step to a normal life that seemed to disappear after Katrina.

Hey Leslie,
Just wanted to send out a few lines to let you know what is going on with us. They finally moved us to a 3 bedroom mobile home. It is in a different county and not where I am familiar with but I am learning and I feel like I am in a mansion after being in that camper for 9 months. I am a little closer to work and that helps with the gas. And I can actually sit in a real chair now. Not a booth. It feels WONDERFUL. I never thought that would be that important to me. But then a lot of things have changed. All in all we are a lot happier to be in something that is bigger and has actual rooms. So for now that is what is going on with us.
Thanks for being a good listener and a caring person. It means the world to us.
Well still hanging in. Haven't heard anything about help in moving even though we've called them practically every day. They keep saying I'm forwarding it to my supervisor. I am not ready for Christmas. I really feel like crawling in bed and staying there. But I can't. If it weren't for the kids I don't know what my life would be. Thanks for listening.
It is 20 days til Christmas. It has been 15+ months since things were forever changed by Katrina. I keep hoping and praying that things will get better, that life will once again regain some normalcy. I would love to sit on a real couch or chair, take a bubble bath in a bathtub, have a family dinner at a real table, and a million other things that once I took for granted. But never again will I just assume that these things will just be there. Because in the blink of an eye they can all be snatched away. I think that everyone thinks because so much time has passed that everything is normal now and they are tired of hearing about Katrina. And all the kindness has run out. This morning I received from my "friend" that had allowed us to put a FEMA camper on their property, a letter informing me that I have until December 15th at 8:00 p.m. to vacate the premises or a padlock would be placed on the gate thru which we enter and exit. I called my housing advisor and was told by them there was nothing they could do. I called the 800 FEMA number and was told to call trailer maintenance, which I did and they are trying to find somewhere to put us. Hopefully that will happen before we are evicted. But this is definitely not normal. When will it end?
As I told you we have been working with a housing advisor from FEMA and in the last 5 or 6 months I have talked to numerous offices within FEMA. Every time I call to find out if anything is happening they give me another number to call so I repeat the information to someone new because nobody knows anything about us from one number to the next. It is really getting frustrating. I know they are supposed to be helping people with disabilities because of a lawsuit, but I applied for a bigger and ADA compliant mobile home in November of 2005 and am still in a camper. My husband is having a lot of health issues right now. He is in a lot of pain from his breastbone wiggling around all the time. The dr. told him the operation to fix it is VERY risky, even more so than the original surgery. My vehicle is starting to need this and need that and requiring money I don't have. But I have to have it to get back and forth to work because we cannot make it without my income. But driving 220+ miles a week will take their toll. I know that it is hard for people who have not been there to understand, but I really sometimes feel that we are being punished for surviving.
As for Christmas I really only wish the children to have a few things to replace everything they lost. Cassie is 5 and wears size 6 clothes(pants and shirts) and she loves Dora the Explorer and anything pink. Christopher is 3 and wears 5T or 5/6 clothes and loves Sponge Bob. When we were all together, I had a double rocking chair that I used to rock both of them in. Now Christopher asks me if we are working on getting a rocking chair house. That is his idea of a place big enough for us all.

11/9 Update:
We have been working with a housing advisor from FEMA for about 4 or 5 months and as of yet nothing. They were going to see about putting us in a mobile home rather than a camper so that my family could get back together. It's bad enough losing everything and now my family is part of the healing process that can't be started because we are not together. We are on the property of a friend that I work with and it was ok to start but they have started in the last few months showing that they obviously don't want us here. I have tried to find something to rent but the prices here (if you can find anything) are outrageous. If I had one wish it would be for a home of my own where I have room for my family and my husband could be at peace and not constantly have the stress which is very bad for his heart. I am sinking in depression and trying very hard not to. I am very grateful that we survived and I know we were being looked after, but it seems with as much time that has passed something could resemble normal life.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

MS Crack Fillers

Found on Katrina's Angels Newsgroup.

6. Rebuilding Assistance in Mississippi Posted by: "Janet Arp"
Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:35 am (PST)
For Pearlington, MS
Laurie Spaschak
Pearlingotn Recovery Center
6098 First Street
Pearlington, MS 39572

For Biloxi
The Rev Gerald Bultman
2521 Pass RoadBiloxi, MS 39531-2727
Office (228) 267-0008
Coordinator Judy Bultman
(228) 239-8882 or (228) 617-4781
bethelkat@gmail. com

Hancock County
AmeriCorps NCCC

Camp Gulfside
Donna Fairchild, Host Site Coordinator
950 South Beach Blvd.
Waveland, MS

Robert S. Renfroe
Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service
Special Projects Coordinator
Mobile #: 601.214.9653

Katie Rose
NASCC Field Director
Gulf Coast Recovery Corps

Bay St Louis
Bonnie P. Ringdahl
CityTeam Ministries, Inc.
498 Ulman St.
Bay St. Louis MS 39520
cell: 408.857.5059
bringdahl@gmail. com

Crisis Counselor
Marian Brown
Project Recovery Crisis Counselor/Outreach Worker
(228) 363-1994

ACORN Neighborhoods only
Call 800-790-2290 or go to their website at:
Cleaning up trash, ripping out drywall, and putting tarps on roofs to stabilize homes in ACORN neighborhoods.

Entire MS Gulf Coast
Bay Vista Baptist Church
2485 Pass Road
Biloxi, Mississippi 39531-2122
Phone: (228) 388-1166 Fax: (228) 388-9850
This church has an ongoing program of volunteers helping MS Gulf Coast residents with rebuilding, mudouts, clean ups, debris removal, tree removal work. Anyone needing nelp with these things should contact the church.

Operation Helping Hands/Catholic Charities
Denise Chetta, volunteer coordinator
Debbie Koehler (504) 371-7747
Program pairs groups of volunteers with homeowners to help the elderly, the disabled, and those without financial means to reoccupy their homes after the hurricane.

Entire MS Gulf Coast
Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church
Hurricane Katrina Recovery
Contact the Mississippi Conference Disaster Response Center toll-free at 1.866.435.7091 or disastercenter@ to schedule a work team or send a gift to help with hurricane recovery.

Rebuilding Together
Request aid through Rebuild 1000! If your home was damaged by one of these hurricanes, you can get help here, too! We're dedicated to making this happen - we want to help rebuild homes and lives. Please join in this effort today!
For more information go to:
For the application to request assistance:

Relief Spark Purpose Mission: Relief Spark's purpose is to provide immediate disaster relief, rebuilding assistance and ongoing civic and community support to families in the United States that have lost their homes and/or businesses due to natural disasters such as a hurricane, earthquake, flood, fire, or tornado. Relief Spark will provide teams of trained volunteers that will assess and clean damaged homes, churches and community buildings. We will develop relationships with all aspects of the community; therefore creating information channels between local government and community. We will work with and support local business owners who wish to return, rebuild and reopen by providing marketing and business support. Relief

Southern Mutual Aid
Tree clearing, house cleaning, tarping, home repairs

Gulfport Only
If you are a homeowner in Gulfport, MS and were either uninsured or underinsured, they will come to your home, repair your roof, clean up debris, replace sheetrock and paint all at no cost to you!
All you need to do is contact Linda Bates at 228-604-2424. They are also gearing up for a big cleanup and repair effort coming in March! I don't know their specific area(s) that they will work in, but you could call and ask where they work.