Families still homeless 5 years after Katrina


by Tiffany Craig / 11 News


Posted on August 29, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Updated Sunday, Aug 29 at 11:15 AM

HOUSTON—More than 100,000 Katrina victims from New Orleans flooded Houston after the storm in 2005.

Five years later, many have found homes. However, there are some still struggling to find a way.

One can never guess what a hurricane will do. Eloise Thompson learned that the hard way.

"We didn’t think (Katrina) would do anything because other times it never did," says Thompson.

So she stayed in New Orleans for the hurricane and witnessed what many saw on television.

"I wish I wouldn’t have because I was stuck there and seen all the dead bodies," she recalled.

Thompson was bused to West Virginia and eventually landed in Houston with her children. Five years later, this mother admits that she still can’t get on her feet.

"I’m still homeless," the 27-year old said.

Thompson is one of a handful of evacuees who fled to Houston without a home address. She’s staying at the Star of Hope Transitional Center.

It’s estimated that about 120,000 people evacuated to Houston from New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina.

Five years later, about 20,000 are still here.

Cheryl Washington and her husband Allen left New Orleans before the storm and started from scratch in the Bayou City.

"I think the thing that devastated me most was I never thought I would stand in the food stamp line," said Cheryl Washington.

Bouncing from place to place seemed to last forever for Thomas Wells and his wife.

"I think that we were homeless about, I would say 2 years," said Wells.

Both families managed to make Houston home, an idea that still seems a world away for others.