As of Tuesday June 17, 2008, Renaissance Village, once the FEMA's largest trailer park, officially closed, leaving its residents to find other means of shelter and resources. FEMA provided hotels for up to 30 days. However, these temporary living situations are marked with uncertainty, especially due to the lack of networks to keep residents in contact with each other. For many, the community at Renaissance Village acted as a surrogate family, helping residents cope with what they had lost in New Orleans. There is currently a grassroots effort to gather contact information of former residents and create a resource network to link people back together. LJI hopes to soon have more information on where the former residents of Renaissance Village currently are and what their plans are for permanent housing.
Unfortunately, there has been no news media coverage on the closing of Renaissance Village, which illustrates the continued struggle to accurately report on the circumstance of Hurricane Katrina survivors.
LJI will continue to follow this story as it develops and assist the former residents of Renaissance Village in any way.
Jeff Mendelman, Justice Roars contributor and LJI intern