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Home for the Holidays Still a Dream for Many Katrina Survivors

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December 19, 2006

Portland, OR - "Home for the holidays" is still very much a dream for many survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Reconstruction continues to move slowly, and relief groups are calling on Oregonians and others across the country to remember and help the victims.

Amy Liu, who has been following the relief efforts as a researcher for the Brookings Institution, says one of the biggest issues is a critical housing shortage.

"Because of the limited supply of housing at this time, even people who wanted to come back would have a really hard
time finding places to live."

The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) has been conducting regular visits to New Orleans and the Gulf region to draw attention to the plight of the area's children. Malaak Compton-Rock, wife of comedian Chris Rock, visited the area as part of the CDF relief effort. She says there are still missing people, children separated from their parents and a shortage of vital services.

"Only half the schools are open. Only half the hospitals are open. The mental health services are depleted."

Amy Liu's latest Katrina recovery report can be viewed online, at www.brookings.edu. You can help with relief efforts by calling the Children's Defense Fund at 1-800-233-1200.

Dondrea Warner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - OR