Thursday, September 29, 2005

My afternoon with the Red Cross, FEMA and a displaced pit bull

After spending the night talking to FEMA reps who couldn't access their computers, I decided to call the wrong FEMA number again and ask if there was any way to talk to someone about my application. "I don't know," was the answer again. They suggested I go the Red Cross, so later today I drove over with some clothes people had given me that didn't quite fit. I figured I could find someone else who needed them.

Outside on the steps was a young couple with a sweet pit bull. They were from Texas, and their seven week old baby and two more pits were staying with grandma. Inside I asked the main desk about leaving clothes. "Take them to Good Will," they said. "Isn't there a way that I could just give them away?" I asked, instead of having Good Will sell them. They stared at me as if I was insane.

I said I had a FEMA question, and they told me that they had FEMA reps there. I actually felt a bit elated. I could actually talk to someone face to face, I wouldn't get disconnected or hung up on. Then I asked the woman behind the desk full of pamphlets if there was any way of knowing when I might get the housing assitance they have been promoting. "You could try calling," she said. I told her I had and that they told me to come here. "You can go on the internet," she said. I told her I had tried that too. "I don't know," she said. I realized that she was really just a woman wearing a FEMA shirt, distributing brochures about mold. "Isn't there some way a person could tell me if my file is complete, or when I can actually pay my rent?" "We recommend you do it one month at a time," she said. "So that's your answer?" I asked. Then she teased me again, telling me that I could go to a "disaster center" where they would be able to access my file and tell me what the status was. Great I thought, and asked her to write down the address. It was 180 miles away...

2 comments:

katrina said...

This is madness. I don't know how you can bear so much idiocy and insanity without completely losing it.
It's just wrong, on soooo many levels.

none said...

OMG!