WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) – Up to now 2017 has been probably the most devastating hurricane seasons in current reminiscence with injury wrecking the lives of tens of hundreds of thousands throughout the nation.
Catastrophe victims have turned to the Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA) for assist. However because the WUSA9 Particular Task Unit found, simply because FEMA provides you catastrophe help cash, doesn’t all the time imply you get to maintain it.
For Gregory Allen, Jr., FEMA is a 4-letter phrase in additional methods than one.
“It’s so painful,” Allen stated. “I cried so many tears this yr I referred to as the suicide hotline.”
It began August 29, 2005, when flood waters rushed over New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Allen’s faculty, Xavier College of Louisiana, was coated in 4 ft of water.
The injury was so dangerous faculty leaders needed to postpone the autumn semester. One out of each 4 college students left and by no means got here again.
“I lived in anarchy,” Allen stated. “There was no authorities. I couldn’t go to high school. Like what might I do? If I might have stayed in New Orleans, I might have died.”
Hurricane Katrina flooded Xavier College in 2005. Photograph: Xavier College of Louisiana
Allen moved to DC to be with his twin brother. He enrolled in Howard University but no longer had the scholarship money he had at Xavier.
Allen stayed on course for a degree in biology, but the memories of Hurricane Katrina haunted him.
Allen said he was diagnosed with PTSD. Meanwhile, the financial pressure of trying to start over only added to his stress.
So he turned to FEMA.
“So they asked like, what did you have?” Allen recalled. “What did you leave down there? What is missing? And like, I told them…And three weeks later they cut me a check.”
Allen said that check was for around $10,000 in disaster assistance, which he said he used to pay for on-campus housing at Howard, a new computer and new clothes.
WUSA9 asked Allen for documentation on the purchases, but he said any receipts or copies were lost or thrown away years ago.
“I think it’s all good,” Allen said. “I’m working. I’m doing better. I’m an adult, I’m having a good time. You know it’s like 12 years later at this point, and I get a letter from the Department of Treasury.”
The letter said 12 years after Hurricane Katrina, the government wanted its relief money back. The letter said Allen owed FEMA…