Displaced people in Shreveport thriving 9 years after Katrina

By Christian Henson | chenson@ktalnews.tv

Published 08/29 2014 10:11PM

Updated 08/29 2014 10:24PM

When Hurricane Katrina hit Jean Dresley’s house was damaged.

"We got probably 4 to 5 inches of water in our home but it was a raised home so not as bad as some.” Dresley said “Our neighbors, you know, two blocks on either side of us had 4 feet of water."

Dresley and her family moved around the state for a few months before settling in Shreveport where she says she found comfort in a support group.

"It became important to all of us because it was such traumatic experience for us all to have that kind of support of one another,” Dresley said “and I'm just so thankful to the St. Josephs community for opening their arms to us because we really needed it."

Dr. George Wolcott has been volunteering with the Red Cross for 45 years and was a volunteer therapist when people displaced from Katrina started pouring into the city.

Wolcott said "These people came in, they were just uprooted from their families, some close to death, pretty scared and our volunteers did an incredibly good job."

The therapists helped with grief and stress but Wolcott says the displaced families were also helping each other.

"There were a lot of people that came, went through some pretty hard time there from the 9th ward,” Wolcott said “and they were willing to even volunteer when they were there to help us."

Now, nine years later, some have moved on but others still call Shreveport home.

Wolcott said "They stayed here in our community and they're doing really well. They liked it up here so they just stayed."

One of those families was the Dresleys.

"I think it's a safer community. It's a community that cares about people,” Dresley said “I'm just feeling very good about being in Shreveport."


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