Starting Over After The Storm

Whoever said there's always calm after every storm was right. After days in the shelter, many evacuees are leaving the Pentecostal campground. For some, a new job and a new home are waiting.

Former Kenner, Louisiana resident, Patricia Ogea, will be getting government assistance to lease a new apartment in Lufkin.

"I'm so excited, because now my husband and I plan to live here permanently because the people here have so much love and passion in their hearts, and we love the people here," said Ogea.

New East Texans lined up Tuesday afternoon to get information on local housing. For some, it's a chance to get out of the shelter, for the Ogeas, it's the new beginning of a normal life.

"I'm 69 and my husband's handicapped," said Ogea. "He's on SSI a hundred percent and I'm on social security, so we need all the help we can get. I can't thank the people of Lufkin and the good Lord enough for what they've done. It's been overwhelming what ya'll have done here."

While some evacuees are still living in East Texas shelters and hotels, some will live in an old nursing home on Raguet Street in Lufkin.

"They can have their own home," said Pastor Josephine Hughes of the Covenant of Love Outreach Ministry. "It's within a large dwelling, but they'll have their own apartments, baths, and they have privacy. They can come and go when they get ready and they're not bound. It's not like sharing a bunk or anything like that."

The old nursing home on Raguet Street has 75 rooms. More than 60 are already available for new residents. The homes are affordable and evacuees are welcome to live there permanently.

For more information on East Texas housing for evacuees, call Toran's Insurance at 634-5961 or 634-7533. You can also call Covenant of Love Outreach Ministry at 637-2887.