First of all, with the recent Red Cross scandals, there's been a push in some quarters of the the SFWA community to back the Salvation Army. One story in particular in support of them stood out, and I'm reprinting it here with permission.
Anne Bussell's comments on the Salvation Army:
My brother was one of the New Orleans homeless. He was staying at a Salvation Army Shelter. The day BEFORE Katrina hit, the Shelter managers put all the men in the program on a bus to houston.
Now his group is helping cook and distribute food to the other evacuees at the dome. Over the years The Salvation Army has taken care of David, saved him, housed him, put him on planes, been much more understanding than police officers. I trust trust trust them.
There have been other stories, too; basically, what it comes down to is that while the Red Cross is not a bad organization, they are bureaucratic. The Salvation Army has a history of simply going in and doing what needs to be done, without preaching or anything. Many people beyond Anne shared stories like this, or even of when they'd been in a bad spot (homeless or whatever) and had been taken in by TSA and cared for, regardless of religious belief and without preachiness or anything similar.
In addition, many of the housing/relocation groups are now so desperate they're looking for places to put displaced NO residents anywhere in the US.
Now, on to more vehement topics.
First of all, keep in mind that FEMA (the organization in charge of this) is one that Bush and his cronies said several years ago was 'never going to be needed' and was just 'bleeding the government.' (Even Jeb Bush countered that one, as Florida residents got more than a little peeved over the idea of dismantling FEMA.) So instead, we have FEMA headed by Mike Brown... a man who horse-knowledgeable people will recognize as the former head of IAHA (the part-bred Arabian horse registry). The man, in fact, who bankrupted IAHA... driving it into the ground through a combination of mismanagement and greed, until IAHA had to fold and the part-bred registry had to be folded into AHA (the purebred Arabian registry).
Anyone still unclear why FEMA's an impoverished, disorganized mess? Right. Moving on.
People are reporting that in order to speak to FEMA representatives in person, you have to call a 1-800 number and get an appointment. This is evidently causing no small amount of frustration and problems, as people show up to try and speak to FEMA folks and are turned away for not having appointments... because they have no PHONE SERVICE, and thus can't call to make one. (At least two people in the SFF.net groups have personally reported their family members having this experience.)
But it gets still better. Let's quote a little bit here.
There was a striking discrepancy between the CNN International report
on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone, yesterday, and
reports of the same event by German TV.
ZDF News reported that the president's visit was a completely staged
event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point
Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after
the president and the herd of 'news people' had left and that others
which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time.
The people in the area were once again left to fend for themselves,
...for more information (and links to the ZDF articles, for those who can read the original German), check out http://thecommons4change.blogspot.com/2005/09/more-bushco-tragedy-fakery.html
And lastly, though we've all posted it as many places as we can... if anyone's heard news from isik (Randy Barron), please, please let those of us who know him know? Last any of us heard he'd decided to ride out the storm. No one's had word from him since then, and he's not on any of the refugee lists.