The Common Good
August 2006

Storm Shelters

by James Ferguson | August 2006

More than 270,000 evacuees ended up in shelters after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

More than 270,000 evacuees ended up in shelters after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. A poll of 680 randomly selected evacuees conducted in Houston, Texas, shelters in September 2005 reveals a cross section of America’s most vulnerable citizens. “A year later,” Bill Quigley, a civil and human rights lawyer at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, told Sojourners, “we have learned that the poor and disabled who were left behind in the evacuation of New Orleans have again been left behind in the rebuilding.” Among those interviewed:

  • 93 percent were African American, 5 percent were white, and 4 percent Latino.
  • 79 percent had no friends or relatives they could move in with until they were “back on their feet.”
  • 74 percent had annual household incomes of $30,000 or less, and, for 77 percent, high school was the highest educational level achieved.
  • 72 percent had no property insurance to cover their losses, 68 percent had no bank account, and 52 percent had no health insurance.
  • 64 percent were renters, 33 percent were homeowners, and 3 percent lived in a care facility.

Source: “Survey of Hurricane Katrina Evacuees,” by The Washington Post/Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)