BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 4 (UPI) -- The closing of a Louisiana trailer park for Hurricane Katrina victims is highlighting fears that some evacuees are falling into homelessness, observers say.
The Renaissance Village trailer park outside of Baton Rouge, La., was established the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2005 to house hundreds of families after Katrina and its closure last week was hastened by unhealthy levels of formaldehyde in the trailers, The New York Times reported Monday.
While some evacuees moved out on their own, others are disabled and seem likely to fall into homelessness, the newspaper said. Groups such as the Homeless Alliance and the Community Initiatives Foundation have formed a consortium of agencies trying to keep those ineligible for FEMA assistance from becoming homeless.
"It was never anticipated that the permanent supportive housing program was going to take responsibility for all of FEMA's disabled clients," Martha Kegel, the executive director of Unity of Greater New Orleans, told the Times. "When we put this together we did not anticipate how much homelessness was going to explode. We had always been hoping that FEMA was going to continue to support these people instead of just dumping them on us."