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Navigating in Nebraska

From: Lawrence Lanahan
Length: 05:24

Two years ago, 166 Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans ended up in Omaha, Nebraska. Two years out, one man is trying hard--perhaps too hard--to help them get back on their feet. Read the full description.

Thumbneb_small Two years ago, 166 Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans ended up in Omaha, Neb., and most of them have decided to stay. Building a new life is never easy, but it's especially difficult when you have to deal with various bureaucracies. Producer Lawrence Lanahan brings us a story about one man's mission to help himself by helping other evacuees get back on their feet.

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Piece Description

Two years ago, 166 Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans ended up in Omaha, Neb., and most of them have decided to stay. Building a new life is never easy, but it's especially difficult when you have to deal with various bureaucracies. Producer Lawrence Lanahan brings us a story about one man's mission to help himself by helping other evacuees get back on their feet.

Broadcast History

Broadcast on American Public Media's Weekend American on August 25, 2007. Funding for original reporting on Omaha evacuees was courtesy of the Nation Institute Investigative Fund.

Transcript

N: There are two Omahas. There?s the Omaha of Warren Buffett, the Huskers, Union Pacific: basically a thriving, white, middle class city. Then there?s North Omaha ? neglected, high crime ? where African Americans have just a one in two chance of escaping poverty.

AMB: Music, chatter at Native Omaha Days.

N: Every other year North Omaha hosts a festival called Native Omaha Days. A gathering for the area?s African Americans.

AMB: festival

N: Omaha?s Katrina evacuees hoped the festival would be a way to touch base with the city?s black community ? to let people know they still need help.

AMB: festival

N: Bobby Leonard is the evacuees? self-appointed advocate

AX, Bobby: I was airlifted from New Orleans to Omaha, Nebraska on September 9, 2005.

N: Bobby and a handful of evacuees organized a food stall and a concert just a few blocks away from the main festivities....
Read the full transcript

Timing and Cues

This story aired two years after Hurricane Katrina scattered evacuees across the country. After the flood, one hundred sixty-six Hurrican Katrina evacuees from New Orleans touched down in Omaha, Nebraska. Their new home made little sense to them?and most of them are still struggling today. Recent reports show that the poorest victims of Katrina ended up the furthest from home. Producer Lawrence Lanahan spent a weekend with evacuees in Omaha. He sent this story of one man who is trying hard?almost too hard?to help evacuees there get back on their feet.

Related Website

http://weekendamerica.publicradio.org/programs/2007/08/25/navigating_in_nebras.html