“Sitting there last night you could see your breath,” displaced resident Brian Sotelo told the Asbury Park Press. “At (Pine Belt) the Red Cross made an announcement that they were sending us to permanent structures up here that had just been redone, that had washing machines and hot showers and steady electric, and they sent us to tent city. We got (expletived).”
Sotelo said Blackhawk helicopters patrol the skies “all day and night” and a black car with tinted windows surveys the camp while the government moves heavy equipment past the tents at night. According to the story, reporters aren’t even allowed in the fenced complex, where lines of displaced residents form outside portable toilets. Security guards are posted at every door, and residents can’t even use the toilet or shower without first presenting I.D.
“They treat us like we’re prisoners,” Ashley Sabol told Reuters. “It’s bad to say, but we honestly feel like we’re in a concentration camp.”I never expect to depend on the Feds
no matter what kind of disaster happens. That's what families are for. If one of our kids needs help, we're there for them and they'd be there for us. I'm confident my husband's and my siblings would be there for us as well. When our parents were ailing and in their declining years none of them went into a nursing home. My dad and my mother-in-law died in their own homes, my mom died at ours, and my father-in-law died in a hospital following a bad fall. It is a tragedy that the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York have no place to go but a FEMA tent camp.
I would like to see the Church more involved with finding temporary homes for these folks. After we abandoned South Viet Nam, many dioceses had refugee programs where parishes adopted families and helped them resettle. Why not something like that for natural disasters? It could put a significant dent in the problem pretty quickly. And think of how much good could be accomplished if the CCHD (Catholic Campaign for Human Development) collection this weekend (that spent $2 million last year funding groups that support abortion, contraception, and other moral evils) helped resettle disaster victims instead.
And here's a novel idea. I'm sure most of the bishops have spare bedrooms in their houses. How about offering a temporary shelter home and resettlement services for some of the disaster victims. They certainly have the staff to work on that. And then there are the "nuns on the bus" who care so much about the poor. They have so few vocations these days they no doubt have a few spare rooms in their convents. Why not fill them up with the disaster victims? There are plenty of alternatives other than the FEMA camps. Let's pursue some of them.