George V. Reilly

Decision about evacuee housing

On Tuesday night, Emma sent this out to our list of friends.

Subject: Decision about evacuee housing
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2005 00:22:32 -0700
From: Emma Bartholomew <emma@bartholomew.com>

Hello all,

Thank you to everyone who has assisted George & me in our attempt to ready our home for hurricane evacuees.

Re­gret­tably, I have come to realize that I’m not emo­tion­al­ly able to make this commitment after all. I thought I could open my home to others, but I have sunk into a depression over the past few weeks that has finally convinced me that I tried to bite off more than I could chew.

George & I are still committed to helping evacuees, but we will now be doing this through donations of time and money to a local group, Katrina Housing Northwest www.ka­tri­na­hous­ingNW.org I have attached the latest Katrina Housing Seattle Alert to the end of this message so you can get an idea of what the group is presently doing.

We will be re­im­burs­ing those who gave us cash donations and having a party to thank those of you who gave of your time and effort. Thank you again for all your hard work on our behalf.

Warmest regards, Emma

PS from George.

This hasn’t been an easy time for Emma and I know she feels that she’s let you (and herself) down. I wish that matters had worked out otherwise. I thank all of you who selflessly gave of your time and money. It was inspiring to both of us.

/George

==========================

Hello KHNW supporters!

This past Thursday a meeting was held in downtown Seattle with Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the American Red Cross, The Emergency Management Division, The Seattle Housing Authority and many community or­ga­ni­za­tions, and private ones such as ours. A rep­re­sen­ta­tive kept us informed of the meetings results:

The Goal: To com­mu­ni­cate the Housing Sus­tain­ment Plan for the over 1000 evacuees in our area right now. Specif­i­cal­ly, funding and avail­abil­i­ty of LONG TERM PERMANENT HOUSING in their own homes.

The Answer: They have not arrived at an answer yet.

True, that is frus­trat­ing, and I could spend plenty of time venting about the details of the lack of planning, or the level of frus­tra­tion my families and many others have ex­pe­ri­enced. However, the immediate needs of our evacuees still remain, and our mission is to meet those needs. Wherever and however we can. I am thoroughly committed to that.

The good news for us is that I have partnered with Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the American Red Cross King/Kitsap/Olympia chapters to help identify individual needs, and we are working directly with the In­ter­na­tion­al Rescue Committee ( www.theirc.org) who are excellent allies in the progress towards KHNW being successful in their mission to assist.

We are fortunate that we get to skip the red tape in all this. We are fueled entirely on the kindness of our local supporters. You have all been a key part of improving the lives of these people!

We still have needs for these families and our or­ga­ni­za­tion. Those needs are:

  • Private housing for 12-18 months (evacuee family only) i.e empty apartments in Seattle area, (services are in the city and they need to be close)
  • GIFT CARDS: For Target, Fred Meyer, Safeway, QFC, WALGREEN’S, Sears, Ikea, Rite Aid, Office Max, COSTCO for household items, etc…
  • GAS CARDS: For our volunteer drivers who are burning through the fuel to drive these folks around until they get bus passes, cars etc…
  • A Tax Attorney to offer pro-bono time to assist with the 501c (3) status filing.
  • A PT Non Profit Accountant, volunteer

If you are interested in any of these items, just email me at nhnorth­west@gmail.com and/or north­westRR@gmail.com (that is Jessica’s email, our amazing admin) Want to get a group involved? Please organize support through your office, schools, places of worship, etc… we can provide you with posters/flyer’s etc…!

This continues to be a very important and in­creas­ing­ly more organized effort. We have surpassed the point where we only co­or­di­nat­ed short term emergency housing, and now we are in it for the long haul, providing solutions for many needs.

Thank you ALL so very very much for your kindness, support, assistance and generosity. I never know how to express enough how much it means to me, and all the people you help, that you have done so much in such dis­tress­ing times for them.

Truly,

Noelle Hunt Bennett
Katrina Housing North West
North West Resource Relief
Seattle, WA

We received some very touching, un­der­stand­ing responses from our friends, often ac­knowl­edg­ing their own struggles with depression, and thanking us for doing what we had so far.

As for the basement, Chuck came over this morning and helped me frame out the 11-foot opening. The carpet layers are coming in at the end of the week, and I expect the window people to come next week.

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