of San Francisco
the Rip-Off of Hurricane Victims,
Feb 14, 4 PM
The Hurricane Evacuee Council of the Bay Area (HECBA) is calling for a protest action on the upcoming FEMA eviction of evacuees from hotels and motels; the on-going housing crisis faced by evacuees in the Bay Area and elsewhere; the millions of dollars going to relief agencies that evacuees are not receiving; the bulldozing of the lower 9th ward; insurance company scams and more.
.Evacuees in Philadelphia are also having a protest action against FEMA on the same day
Background: A lawsuit against FEMA has moved forward the eviction deadline for evacuees living in hotels and motels to February 21, although some evacuees will still be evicted on Feb 7th and Feb 13th. Hundreds of Bay Area evacuees have been left destitute, in temporary housing, without obligatory FEMA payments or compensation and without assistance to rebuild their homes and lives.
Evacuees want to know what has happened to the millions of dollars given to relief agencies by the generosity of those who saw the suffering of people in the superdome and others left to die in filthy toxic water and on rooftops, people who were overwhelming Black and poor. How much has gone to evacuees and how much to administrative costs? Bay Area evacuees are also being denied an evacuee center similar to the one set up in Philadelphia and other cities, where they can go to get help and information from the various relief agencies; instead they are sent from pillar to post and forced to spend thousands of dollar on phones trying to get through to hotlines.
Here is a list of what money national agencies who are operating in the Bay Area have received recently from the $60 million FEMA funded grant to United Methodists Committee on Relief/Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (UMCOR/NVOAD) for Katrina related case management:
Agency approx grant amount
Salvation Army $12,626,054
Catholic Charities $12,201,927
Lutheran Disaster Response $6,250,000
National Disability Rights Network $5,417,219
Boat People $4,438,649
Volunteers of America $6,000,000
Episcopal Relief and Development tbd
is calling for accountability and transparency for all monies from government
and non-governmental organizations that is supposed to be for Katrina
relief, HECBA is demanding to know how much of this money goes directly
to evacuees and how much for administrative costs.
November 2005 WE DEMAND REAL HOUSING - stop all evictions of people from hotels and other housing; stop all threats of eviction by the Red Cross, FEMA and other government bodies;
- more resources for housing which must be provided immediately; extend the time that FEMA is paying for housing; displaced evacuees must have access to Section 8 housing; no hierarchy based on how housing is provided; resources should not be distributed based on income (former or present); permanent housing must be prioritized by FEMA, not hotels/motels; hotels, motels and trailers should be provided on a temporary basis as needed, to be replaced by permanent housing;
- stop moving people from room to room at the hotels; housing to include basic essentials including kitchen facilities and refrigerators; people should have immediate access to decent clothing, furniture and other necessities for the home;
WE DEMAND THE INFORMATION WE NEED - wide circulation by all city agencies, FEMA and non-governmental organizations of what resources and services evacuees are entitled to; all evacuees and those providing services to evacuees must have copies; resource lists should include city agencies, what they are responsible for providing, a person's name to call and emergency contact number;
- wide distribution of a list of where to get free or discounted meals;
- community-based networks who are providing help should have access to information of where evacuees are;
WE DEMAND HELP WITH TRANSPORTATION - free of cost Muni bus, AC and Golden Gate transit system passes, BART tickets, and Amtrak tickets for evacuees and their children; Para-transit should be made available to anyone who needs it;
- access to California drivers licenses;
WE DEMAND THE MONEY AND RESOURCES WE ARE ENTITLED TO - in the richest country in the world, all evacuees must get at least the $4350 they were promised and entitled to (an initial $2000 per family for evacuees and then an additional $2350 for housing costs from FEMA); no discrimination based on former or present income; many people did not get this money, others got different amounts;
- the money from the debit cards that was taken out must be given back (the Red Cross gave people $660 in Houston TX and many people report having between $300-360 taken away from them upon arrival in San Francisco);
- immediate access to Cal-works/welfare, food stamps, medical care and housing for all survivors;
- legal and other services and aid must be made available to evacuees;
WE DEMAND WORK FOR THOSE WHO WANT IT - everyone who can and wants to should have the opportunity to have a job/waged work at a decent wage; all evacuees must have immediate access to an income including for their unwaged caring and survival work; companies who owed people for their work before the hurricane should pay this money now; the federal government should fine employers who show discrimination against hiring evacuees;
WE DEMAND QUALITY FAMILY CARE - access to free quality childcare, elder care; ; quality education for our children, address any needs they have related to the trauma of this experience; care and support for people with disabilities; family members who are caring for children, the elderly and those with disabilities should be paid and receive other resources for that work;
WE DEMAND NO DISCRIMINATION - no discrimination based on sex, race, age, economic, background, immigration and other legal or social status, sexual orientation, disability, etc;
WE DEMAND FULL ACCOUNTABILITY - accountability and transparency for all monies from government and non-governmental organizations that is supposed to help or be handed to evacuees; how much did the Red Cross, United Way, FEMA, the City of San Francisco and other Bay Area cities receive for evacuees' relief; how much money has come in and how is it being spent; how much of it is going to salaries and other administrative costs and how much gets to evacuees?
For more info or to send back the form, contact: Hurricane Evacuees Council/Bay Area Box 14512 San Francisco CA 94114 or call/fax to 415-626-4114 firstname.lastname@example.org
HECBA is a network of evacuees, led by evacuees and facilitated by the Women 's Caucus of the People's Hurricane Relief Fund and the Global Women's Strike/SF * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I/We support the demands of the Hurricane Evacuees Council/Bay Area
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