Pubdate: Mon, 07 Nov 2005
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 2005 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc
Author: Tommy McDonald
Bookmark: (Opinion)


I read with great interest and disappointment USA TODAY's report on
hurricane evacuees facing homelessness because of problems with
federal aid ("Thousands of evacuees face eviction," News, Oct. 31).

It is sad to know that the victims of Hurricane Katrina continue to
suffer because of more government missteps. These folks have been
through enough. What the storm victims don't need is further hardship
caused by their federal government, which should be helping those most
in need.

Luckily, there is some action on the federal level that might help.
Recently, a number of elected officials, led by Rep. Robert Scott, D-
Va., and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, introduced the Elimination
of Barriers for Katrina Victims Act. The bill would help tens of
thousands of people who lost everything to Katrina receive public
housing and food stamps. It would temporarily suspend federal laws
that deny public assistance to hurricane victims because a family
member had a past drug offense. We need to support the bill so the
"war on drugs" doesn't also become a war on Katrina victims.

This legislation is one of many needed steps to help the victims of
this tragedy find some semblance of normalcy as they attempt to put
their lives back together.

Tommy McDonald, Drug Policy Alliance

New York
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