Evacuees frustrated with FEMA wait - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Evacuees frustrated with FEMA wait

Most hurricane evacuees want to move on with their lives, but many of them can't get housing because they're waiting on FEMA.  The government red tape is making them see red.

Angelette Smith and her children currently call Dunn Avenue Elementary home. Three weeks after Katrina, Smith and dozens of others are still waiting for housing assistance.

"I haven't gotten anything from FEMA," she said. "I did my application. Everyone else got there money in two to three days.  I haven't gotten a booklet, or nothing. No check or nothing, and their lines are just busy.

Without FEMA, she can't find a home for her family.

"People are not giving apartments because they want to make sure they're gonna get their money from FEMA.," Smith said. "FEMA's not doing nothing, so we're not doing nothing. We have to stay in the shelter until we find somewhere to go."

Tommy Champion, director of the Red Cross Shelter at Dunn Avenue Elementary, admitted evacuees are upset."

"They're all angry," he said. "They're not angry at me, but they're angry because they brought them in here, set them out, and nobody's told them anything."

Champion blames the delay on lack of resources.

"Whoever sent all these people here, its just like a sink," he said. "When you fill it up with water, then pour another gallon in, it flows over. That's what's happened in Memphis."

Champion said he's been told FEMA housing assistance will start coming in this week.

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