Katrina Evacuee Assistance, Lessons Learned

December 14, 2006 Posted at 4:25 CST

Jonesboro, AR -  Over 54,000 Katrina Evacuees still remain in North East Arkansas, the majority of them in Pulaski Co. But Little Rock already has a high poverty and homeless rate, and evacuees moving in didn't make things any better.

A meeting was held Wednesday in Little Rock to discuss the amount of evacuees still left in the counties and what type of assistance they still needed. Homeless, jobless, and running out of FEMA money, the problems of the evacuees aren't getting solved. So they turned to other counties for help.

Craighead Co. was one of those that were successful in aiding Hurricane Katrina victims.

"Our housing authority has been able to provide them with homes, there seem to be jobs readily available to them, and the JETS has been reliable transportation for them to and from."

Brenda Sipa, Jonesboro Mayor's Secretary attended the meeting and says the evacuees who came to Jonesboro have been provided with the assistance they needed.

Pulaski Co. says they need solutions and are organizing a coalition to help with the situation and if a future disaster arises.

"We want to do the same thing. We hope that we can form a coalition here so we can be ready if something like this happens again. The situation is better here than it is in Little Rock, but if something happens in the future, we don't want anyone to slip through the cracks. We want to provide assistance to everyone and have things run smooth."