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Someplace Like AmericaTales from the New Great Depression$
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Dale Maharidge

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520262478

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520262478.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 22 October 2021

Search and Rescue

Search and Rescue

(p.137) 18 Search and Rescue
Someplace Like America

Dale Maharidge

University of California Press

One might believe that the authorities in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, which left some 70,000 rotting and abandoned buildings, would make a concerted effort to help the thousands of squatters who are now living in these buildings. However, help for the displaced comes down to two men, Shamus Rohn, twenty-eight, and Mike Miller, twenty-nine. They are outreach social workers for UNITY of Greater New Orleans, described as “a collaborative of sixty agencies working to end homelessness.” It was funded on a shoestring. Its mission statement: “Working to End Homelessness, Bringing New Orleans Home.” However, the title of “social worker” does not fully explain the job description of these two men. They can be described as the U.S. Marines of the social assistance world, the first to hit the backstreets of despair, armed not with weapons but with Magnum flashlights, on the front line of a lonely battle to help people in dark places.

Keywords:   Katrina, New Orleans, squatters, Shamus Rohn, Mike Miller, social workers, UNITY of Greater New Orleans, homelessness, Hurricane Katrina, social assistance

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