Archive for Tuesday, September 6, 2005

City announces adopted hurricane family

Hundreds of more displaced families could arrive in Lawrence

September 6, 2005


A family displaced by Hurricane Katrina is on its way to Lawrence, and hundreds more may soon follow.

City officials announced this afternoon that a New Orleans family has been chosen as part of the city's program to adopt a family displaced by the hurricane. Ursla and D.J. Markey, along with their 25 year-old son who has a learning disability, are expected to arrive in Lawrence late next week.

But officials with Douglas County Emergency Preparedness are preparing for hundreds of additional families to show up on Lawrence's doorstep. Paula Phillips, director of the emergency management agency, said Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' office has asked Lawrence to serve as a possible overflow shelter site for some of the 4,500 storm victims that will be transferred to Kansas from overcrowded shelters in Texas.

City, county, hospital, university and nonprofit agencies will meet Wednesday morning to determine where a shelter that could house between 100 and 500 people could be located. Discussions also will include whether the community has enough resources - both in terms of dollars and manpower - to provide the necessary services to the refugees.

Other communities expected to house refugees from Texas include Wichita, Topeka, Salina, Garden City and Johnson County.

The Markeys were brought to the city's attention by Kansas University professors Ann and Rud Turnbull, who knew the Markeys through their work with children with disabilities. The Markeys run a New Orleans training center that works with parents and children affected by disabilities. That center was destroyed by the hurricane.

"I call this couple the Mother Teresa of the disability movement," said Ann Turnbull. "They are great people."


My_Voice 12 years, 8 months ago

I don't understand what there is to think about... I know that Lawrence is a wonderful whole hearted community that often extends its arms and welcomes people when they fall on hard times. Everything has been taken away from these Americans, and nothing is going to be worse than telling them they have a place to go and then taking it away. I hope the city decides to do the right thing and allow its citizens to show their support for our fellow Americans...!

cutny 12 years, 8 months ago

I agree. One family is great, but save the back-patting for when you reach the 100 family mark. Again, no effort is too small, but thousands of families need help right now. Great job, now let's do more.

jenannseg 12 years, 8 months ago

This is a great thing being done & I hope everyone affected by the Hurricane find shelter. Too bad Lawrence is already overcrowded..otherwise we could help more people affected.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 8 months ago

Oh criminy!

I hope that yourworstnightmare isn't hoping on getting past the Pearly Gates!

Sigmund 12 years, 8 months ago

Of course Lawrence has the resources. It's a question of wether or not the city will provide those resources. If your looking for money I wouldn't mind if a roundabout or two got postponed or even canceled. Bottomline, whose pet project will suffer? In the alternative, whose taxes will get raised? My preference is for the former, my money is on the latter.

Sigmund 12 years, 8 months ago

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Amy Bartle 12 years, 8 months ago

When is Jerry Johnston and his new church going to rise up and say that they will adopt some families? I guess that might mess up his plans for building a fancy church here in Lawrence.

lunacydetector 12 years, 8 months ago

there are hundreds of empty apartments in lawrence. surely the 'do-gooders' of this community can come up with the funds (privately).

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 8 months ago

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yourworstnightmare 12 years, 8 months ago

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