FEMA issued around 10,500 credit cards, each having a $2,000 balance, in a pilot program attempting to give Hurricane Katrina survivors funds to purchase the necessities. I guess the word “necessary” is subjective.
On the heels of a report earlier this week that Atlanta area Katrina victims were using $2,000 debit cards to purchase luxury items like Louis Vuitton handbags, Houston police yesterday discovered the cards, provided by FEMA and the Red Cross, being used at local strip clubs.
There have been reports where people have provided false identification so that they can obtain as many cards as they can get. FEMA is still giving two grand per family through direct deposit but of course no limitations are associated with the funds. Hey, I guess they have the RIGHT to spend it as they choose, well, so says Bill Hildebrandt, chief executive officer of the Mid-South chapter of the Red Cross:
“If they make an inappropriate decision as to what to purchase, the whole issue of victims’ rights comes into play. They have a right, I guess, to be inappropriate.”