Some Katrina Survivors Feel Discriminated Against - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

08/29/07 - East Texas

Some Katrina Survivors Feel Discriminated Against

by Ramonica R. Jones

It's been exactly two years since former New Orleans resident, William Jones moved to East Texas. The East Texas News caught up with him as he was getting acclimated to his new life in Lufkin. Jones and his girlfriend fled to the area after Hurricane Katrina destroyed everything they had, leaving them with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

"I lost my license, paperwork; everything that I had, I lost it," Jones said. "I had a lot of stuff that I accomplished, but I don't have it anymore."

Jones hasn't been able to find steady work and has moved around quite a bit during his search for a new life. Back home, he worked at a New Orleans hotel and made a decent salary. He believes many local employers want nothing to do with evacuees.

"They figure people from New Orleans is bad because of the stuff they came here and did when they first came, but I'm not like that."

Jones finally saved enough to buy a car, which now needs a transmission. He walks everywhere including job interviews, doctor's appointments and personnel agencies.

"I can drive a truck, I can do a little mechanic work - any kind of work that someone gives to me I appreciate it. I can do any kind of work," said Jones. 

After working several odd jobs during his two years in Lufkin, Jones is now working at the HOPE Center of North Lufkin. It's a big change from the career he had in New Orleans, but he's grateful for any chance to get back on his feet.

Since Jones and his girlfriend moved to Lufkin from New Orleans, they've welcomed a new addition to their family. They are now the proud parents of a seven-month old baby boy.

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