More word from Becky Orander, the Executive Director of the Arlington Life Shelter:
Thanks to everyone for your help so far in the disaster recovery process. There has been a tremendous outpouring of volunteer support and much-needed items. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of quite a long process.
From what I’ve seen, Arlington has primarily guests from New Orleans that were receiving a great deal of social service support back home and will need the same here. Few owned cars and are used to public transportation systems, so Arlington’s limited transit options will be a shock to them.
Shelters are pretty much in maintenance mode. Volunteers are now being scheduled through the city at (817) 462-3700. The most pressing needs right now in Arlington are hair care products, perm kits and makeup for African Americans, furniture, mattresses, household setups (brooms/mops/cleaning products, etc). Drop off is Mission Arlington located at 210 W. South St., (817) 277-6620. Thank you in advance for your continued support.
Becky makes an important point in her note: An astonishing number of the people displaced from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama were already impoverished before they were hit with this tragedy. This is a region that has always struggled with poverty. For example, click here to see a map (PDF) that shows the percent of people in Orleans Parish who made below common measures of a living wage as of the 2000 Census. The amount of purple on the map should be an eye opener. (This and more info can be found at the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center.)