Lives are still shattered:Families
are being moved from the recreational trailers to permanent housing. Those
who do not qualify for a short-term rent subsidy will be homeless; those
who cannot assume rent payments in the next few months will also be homeless… again.
Serendipitous intervention kept one mother and five children from homelessness.
Two of the children were sent to a homeless center; one attempted suicide.
Trauma and loss: Half of these
children still need clinical help.
No education: School is still
an issue. The uncertainty involved in relocating will likely produce
an increase in truancy which is already excessive.
many, isolation is becoming agitation and aggravation.
There is a way to help these children!
In October 2005, one month after the hurricane,
teams of art therapists and volunteers began visits to Renaissance
largest trailer park near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They have made
twelve trips since the catastrophe. Working in a tent, the artwork
that emerged out of the chaos and tragedy documents trauma, loss,
anger and depression as well as the survivors’ hopes and dreams
for the future.
Katrina Through The Eyes Of Children – an
art exhibit – features their art, stories, photographs and
videotaped interviews. It enables the voices of these young people
to be heard by generations to come. It will raise awareness of the
effectiveness of art therapy as a tool for responding to trauma;
especially with children. The impact from Hurricane Katrina on these
lives suggests a need for the creation of a trauma center
for children and teens that will develop programs and train
healthcare professionals, educators and artists in first response
to catastrophic situations and other trauma in children.
Donations, sponsorships and grants are needed. All gifts will benefit Community
Initiatives Foundation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and its service
to children and teens for mental health and education as well as the
creation of a trauma center.