Volunteers work to fill aid gap in Lower Terrebonne
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - While we continue to make strides in Ida recovery, it’s become all too clear there is a massive need for emergency housing and federal help, especially in the lower portions of Terrebonne and Lafourche.
In Dularge and other bayou communities, the only kind of help they’re seeing comes from their neighbors.
“For the people, by the people,” volunteer Clay Usie said.
At the Dularge Recreation Center, something beautiful has blossomed out of a lack of resources.
“These are all nonprofits and residents that are here, just pool the resources together to help each other through some tough times,” Usie said.
Retired Army Veteran, Clay Usie was born and raised in Terrebonne. He now lives in Florida but sprang into action when he watched his whole family and their community get turned upside down.
It started out with some donations and manpower from Usie’s Mardi Gras Krewe, Krewe of Andres De Pez, but quickly turned into Aerobridge flying supplies in when the roads were still impassable. It’s since grown to attract help from iServe 365, Global Citizens USA, Pastors’ Army, Liberty Allegiance, and Crossroads.
“I just want to raise some level of awareness that there’s a lot of people that need help and they really need answers,” Usie said. “This is a grassroots effort. If you don’t go door to door, you’re going to miss a lot of people.”
They’ve not served thousands a day at the center but they’ve been going door to door checking in on the community, not only in Terrebonne but across the bayou region.
Usie says a lot of people don’t have the gas to spare or a way to get into town to sign up for FEMA help and get supplies from the Parish.
“We discovered people that were living in tents, we discovered people that hadn’t eaten in three days,” Usie said. “There’s a lot of homeless people in the area and they’re sleeping in less than habitable conditions in the elements here in the bayou region.”
As things slowly improve and power and water trickle back, he says the real need is construction materials, clean linens and clothing, mattresses or cots, and mold remover, but above all, the reality is that people just need a roof over their heads.
“Whoever with the government out there that can provide temporary housing, I’m telling you now, you need to get to Terrebonne Parish with whatever assets you have in store, providing needs to the people because they’re sitting there on bended knee, trying to rebuild what they have to sustain things but with limited support,” Usie said.
If you have any of the above items you would like to donate, you can drop off the donations at 1330 Dr. Beatrous Rd, Theriot, LA.
FOX 8 reached out to Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove about emergency housing but has not heard back.
No Parish has relayed any word yet on when emergency housing may be available.
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