Heartbreak Hotels

For Katrina evacuees in New York, it's no jobs, no phones, no closets, missing meals, and a government that wants you outta there


Carl Crosby, 29
Ninth Ward, New Orleans
at the Ramada Plaza Hotel Laguardia

You know what? I can't really charge them, because I was watching on CNN yesterday—last year, 20,000 people being displaced was the largest ever in FEMA's history. Now you got from 20,000 to 400,000. If you're not already on your game—and I don't think FEMA's on their game—how are you going to deal with that?

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  • Ronald West, 18
    Kenner, Louisiana
    at the Ramada Plaza Hotel Laguardia

    You tell them you are from New Orleans or you tell them you are a Katrina evacuee, they think they are better than you. You complain to them, they think you're lying because you are a Katrina evacuee. You know, stuff like that. I've never been treated in this manner.

    The landlord hear you are a Katrina evacuee, they think you don't have money. I do have money, you know. It's like people want to feel sorry for you, but they don't even care, you know? I have money to pay, but they don't want to hear that.


    Syreeta Sharpe, 25
    Orleans Parish
    at the Ramada Plaza Hotel Laguardia

    The problem is, they wait until the deadline to help us. We've been here almost three months. If they had started earlier, we wouldn't be here. We'd be in an apartment right now.

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