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11 Million A Night For Evacuee's Hotels?!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yesterday it was reported on the national news that the U.S. government is paying 11 million dollars per night to private hotels to house 600,000 evacuees. This has been going on for almost 6 weeks. Now, I believe these people need shelter but I think this is setting a dangerous precedent. If hurricane victims can get hotel rooms paid for by the government, shouldn't every American who loses their housing due to a natual disaster like flood, fire, tornado, hurricane or earthquake, expect the same perks??? Can we afford this long term?

Just this past year the U.S. government closed several military bases that were equipped with living quarters and furnishings and large kitchen and bath facilities. Keeping those bases maintained and in stand by mode to house Americans in case of disaster would be far less costly than the 11 million a day they are paying a night now. With the trend towards larger and more devastating national disasters, I think this would make sense. What do you think?
post #2 of 14
It sounds good but when the Govt closes a base the housing usually gets turned over to local govt. for lo income housing.
post #3 of 14
According to a number of realtors, there are enough apartments in many areas to house evacuees, but few states and cities are actually giving displaced people vouchers enabling them to rent. FEMA seems to be mismanaging things again. This NY Times article gives details: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/13/na...13housing.html
post #4 of 14
The evacuees who came to Colorado with no where else to go came to the closed Lowry Air Force Base. Apparently they haven't demo's or remodeled the old dorms, so they were housed there. There were ~500 people housed there at the height of it, but as of Thursday there were only 22 left. The rest had found other means. They held some major job fairs out there, and I know that some people donated deposit/first month's rent to help get people on their own. I would imagine that some private landlords made special arrangements with the evacuees.

Even without the mandate from FEMA to close down all of the shelters, they were going to close down the Lowry shelter in the next few days. I don't know how many of the 22 will end up with the gov't paying for hotels, but probably not too many.
post #5 of 14
The plot thickens. It seems that most of the people living in New Orleans's 9th Ward had no flood insurance, because FEMA maps didn't designate the area as "high-risk", which would have induced mortgage companies to demand it. Are these people simply going to end up completely homeless? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...101601209.html
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNCatFancier
Yesterday it was reported on the national news that the U.S. government is paying 11 million dollars per night to private hotels to house 600,000 evacuees. This has been going on for almost 6 weeks. Now, I believe these people need shelter but I think this is setting a dangerous precedent. If hurricane victims can get hotel rooms paid for by the government, shouldn't every American who loses their housing due to a natual disaster like flood, fire, tornado, hurricane or earthquake, expect the same perks??? Can we afford this long term?

Just this past year the U.S. government closed several military bases that were equipped with living quarters and furnishings and large kitchen and bath facilities. Keeping those bases maintained and in stand by mode to house Americans in case of disaster would be far less costly than the 11 million a day they are paying a night now. With the trend towards larger and more devastating national disasters, I think this would make sense. What do you think?
I agree.

I also feel that SOME will stay on this gravy train until they are forced off and SOME will use this opportunity to make a better life for themselves. I sincerely hope the latter is the most prevalent.
post #7 of 14
This 11 million dollars expenditure is a result of Bush's deadline for all shelters to be cleared by mid October. Therefore, the people who are staying in hotels actually went up by about over 50% in the past 2 weeks as officials rush to get people out of shelters. This disaster is different from the rest, in the sense that reconstruction is taking longer and that people are finding it very difficult to return home due to the pace of reconstruction.

As an aside to the issue of expenditure on hotels which is a relevant issue, I find it extremely odd that for some reason or another, this particular disaster seem to generate a huge amount of hate or disdain directed against the people of New Orleans and the Evacuees. From people claiming that New Orleans deserves it and that it was an Act of God, to the huge amount (more so than usual) of emails and claims (all not true) of Evacuees causing problems in the places that put them up to claims that somehow the Evacuees are better off as a result of the disaster, which is just perplexing and distasteful.
post #8 of 14
What annoys me about this is here in the midwest - Kansas, there was just as bad flooding and many people's homes are destroyed. They have lost everything and NO one is coming to their aid!!!!

We can spend 11 million on a hotel but we can't help everyone???
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpy
This 11 million dollars expenditure is a result of Bush's deadline for all shelters to be cleared by mid October. Therefore, the people who are staying in hotels actually went up by about over 50% in the past 2 weeks as officials rush to get people out of shelters. This disaster is different from the rest, in the sense that reconstruction is taking longer and that people are finding it very difficult to return home due to the pace of reconstruction.

As an aside to the issue of expenditure on hotels which is a relevant issue, I find it extremely odd that for some reason or another, this particular disaster seem to generate a huge amount of hate or disdain directed against the people of New Orleans and the Evacuees. From people claiming that New Orleans deserves it and that it was an Act of God, to the huge amount (more so than usual) of emails and claims (all not true) of Evacuees causing problems in the places that put them up to claims that somehow the Evacuees are better off as a result of the disaster, which is just perplexing and distasteful.
I have to disagree with SOME of what you said, the (all not true) it is not correct to say "all"
I know a few different people personally that have gone down there to help and were treated very rudely. One woman was part of a team putting together good, quality, clean, gently used children's clothes for donation and when donated all the clothes were turned down rudely because they were not "new". Wow
Another person was stuck in Texas when it hit and the evacutees came to town and would come eat at the local restaurants and were very rude to the other patrons.
So I guess I am saying there is good and bad people everywhere. I just feel that a lot of these people are the poor and people that were living off the system for one reason or another. I do not think in the decades (and it HAS been decades) that the State and Local Democrats have been in power that they have down "squat" to help the poor in Louisiana.
post #10 of 14
Just because someone is poor does not mean they are living off the system. And even for people who were provided assistance by the state, is such assistance always bad? No, assistance provide people and their children with opportunity to end the cycle of poverty. Are there people who abuse the system, most probably so but they are in the minority just like the few evacuees who seem rude. Why is there such a focus on the negative action of the few by some people. For some it is their job as such negative stories are more interesting to sell for others it may reflect something altogether more sinister.

As an aside, I recall in my early years at school, many years ago learning about the concept of helping thy neighbors, helping people that are less fortunate. I attended a religious private school and while such concept of helping thy neighbor was sometimes taught in a good samaritan parable, it is a concept that can easily be applied to society as a whole. It is disconcerting that there are many around who simply do not believe in such acts of aid and yet still claim to be living a moral life.
post #11 of 14
What I find interesting is that those of us who do not believe in unlimited public assistance are automatically labeled as being predjudiced, indifferent to poverty, and now just plain sinister.

She's right - New Orleans has been under Democratic control for over 40 years. Granted, a very corrupt government to be sure. But that's still 40 years to prove how their system of helping the impoverished OUT of poverty works. Hmm, what we saw was one of the poorest places in the nation. We saw people TOTALLY dependent on that corrupt goverment, and a lot of them.

I do think that in some cases some of the people of New Orleans will end up in a better situation than they were in before. Why? Because they can start fresh, with nothing of their past to hold them back. They can break the cycle of poverty if they want to, and they can get out of that system. They had the option, in many cases, to come to a new place. The people who came to Colorado, who were just put on a plane from the Houston Astrodome, were given TONS of job opportunities that they probably didn't have in New Orleans. In the first day alone, more than 50 jobs were filled at the job fair at Lowry. That's 10% of those who were housed in the shelter here. Because of that success, they continued having job fairs for the evacuees and the employers here really stepped up to find opportunities for these people.

The people who came here found out real quick that in Colorado we do expect you to hold a job and support yourself if you are able. This isn't NOLA, and we are set up to give a hand up, not a hand out.
post #12 of 14
Just because someone has a job does not mean everything is fine. I recall many years ago doing some volunteer work and meeting this woman with kids. She has a job but is a low paying one and it is certainly not sufficient to support herself plus the children. She wanted to leave the husband because of some allegation of violence but the shelter in the area was limited because of funding cuts. I remember asking her whether does she have any friends or relative she could stay and still strongly recall that downcast look in her eyes when the reply that came back was a soft, dejected and deflated no.

Am I certain that all money paid to the government is used in a manner that is 100% effective? Of course not. But I do know that good work is being done and that poverty is something that takes generations to fight. Just looking at statistics and you will find that generally, persons who come from more educated and well to do parents also turn out better. Poverty is not something that can be fixed by a wave of a wand if not the whole world would be all singing along. And it is not something that can be resolved simply by the idea that people should work hard, although that helps.

Would I want the additional money returned to me so I can spend it? Ideally yes. However, I realise as a citizen and being part of humanity there are obligations to help others even if there are some minority who choose to take advantage of it. No one wants to pay for a program that does not work but a few bad apples do not and should not spoil the whole bush, nothing sinister about that. But advocating cutting of funding of a program that does help the lives of people or deciding to punish everyone for the mistakes of a few, now that is sinister.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpy
Just because someone has a job does not mean everything is fine.

<snip>

But advocating cutting of funding of a program that does help the lives of people or deciding to punish everyone for the mistakes of a few, now that is sinister.
No, having a job doesn't make everything fine, but it's a start. I don't know what anyplace else is doing, but the companies I saw as representative of employers in the area weren't McDonalds. It was Coors, it was high tech jobs, it was the public schools, it was construction companies (read: no previous experience or education required), and yes, there were some restaurants and small businesses too. These were not minimum wage jobs. This was a step to help these people get back on their feet - or perhaps to get on their feet and be independent for the first time.

As for that last statement, I just re-read this whole thread, and I don't see anyone calling for the abolition of any welfare program, or assistance program for the victims of a natural disaster. What I do see is people saying that we shouldn't support (or have to support) all of these people indefinitely. That's not sinister, and that's all people here are saying.
post #14 of 14
i do not think anyone here is advocating the cut of funding. I know i am not. But i am for better help than just handing out money. thats just me

And IMO 11 million a day is way to much to be spending on hotels.
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