GCN Exclusive Report
GCN published a list of things needed by the City of Bay St. Louis early in March. The response has been amazing. The following is an update sent by the Bay St. Louis city administrator Ms. Mike Cuevas to GCN correspondent Mark Proulx - Editor
Bay St. Louis Needs Update 4
Nine months after Hurricane Katrina, the City of Bay St. Louis is still struggling. If not for the courage of asking for help and the nation’s overwhelming response, one could honestly count Bay St. Louis as one of the dead after Hurricane Katrina
By Mark Proulx - Special to GCN
Hi, Mark! It's been awhile since an update so I wanted to drop a line to you and your GCN readers. The readers have been wonderful in their responses to our needs, even nine months after Katrina when everyone is exhausted – Mike Cuevas
CITY EMPLOYEE NEWS
Only one employee is still without solid prospects for permanent housing. Every volunteer group that has come to Bay Saint Louis, faith-based or secular, has helped our city employees get back on their feet. If anyone wants to more information on this employee and how they may be able to help please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). She and her husband are one of the couples that have fallen through the cracks and are not eligible for assistance for one reason or another.
Secretary - building a new home, can use building gift cards or items for her home when complete.
Mayor Favre - has no home and has delayed even thinking about what he's going to do until he has Bay Saint Louis back on its feet. So, if any generous builder would like some great publicity building our Mayor a home, his employees would be forever grateful. He's taking care of everyone and everything else and he lost more than any of us - his home, his personal possessions, his car, his dog, his clothes - everything. It's not in jest that I make this request and he'd be upset with me for asking, but someone has to ask for personal help for him.
Everyone is "in process", except for the employee I just mentioned. Building supply help would be great for three of them.
This is the most difficult group with which to work. All of our hard heads seem to be cornered in this one office, won't take help, all need it, so in spite of their stubbornness any one of these three men could use building supplies, appliances and furniture. One needs a 50 gal. electric hot water heater (he's got four women in the house!)
Administrative Clerk - she and her husband have almost finished their work and are back in their home!
In this eight person office, five need building supply help, furniture and appliances.
Everyone in Public Works can still use any type of help - building supplies, appliances, furniture. They are doing okay with personal items and most kitchen supplies because most are in FEMA trailers. There are 15 employees in this department.
Everyone in the PD is doing fairly well, in various stages of building or re-building, and can always use building supply cards. One employee has a really long way to go and one has to start his re-building, but is waiting on the FEMA guidelines.
They are in much the same good shape as the PD so gift cards are always welcome.
CITY OPERATIONAL NEEDS
Fuel cards, fuel cards, fuel cards - paper towels, paper towels, paper towels! It is as much as that and as little. Fuel costs are our biggest daily expense and janitorial supplies what we wind up buying the most of for the four departments.
In addition to daily needs we do need tire repair kits and tow ropes to stock our vehicles for the hurricane season.
Bay Saint Louis citizens need the same things as employees. Building supplies, building supplies, building supplies and more building supplies.
“What I would really like to be able to do is to have another citizen lottery to give away building supply cards, gift certificates to local building supply stores, gift cards to help meet appliance, mattress and furniture needs. My target date for another lottery would be August 1.
“Mark, I always take up way too much of your time and I know I don't tell you enough how much your help means to the recovery of Bay Saint Louis. You certainly do the history of your family proud.
“Take care and God bless you and all GCN staff and readers.
Reporter’s note: One of the greatest exchanges in movie history comes to mind after having read this above. It’s a simple exchange, but it speaks volumes of the singular people involved in this extraordinary relief effort…
Lt. Jim Gordon: “I never did thank you.”
The Batman: “And you’ll never have to.”
Bay St. Louis Needs Update 2 - Mark Proulx - GCN Special Report
Bay St. Louis Needs update 3 - Mark Proulx - GCN Special Report
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