i was sitting in the coffee shop this morning listening to the guy next to me have an imaginary conversation because he is off his meds. we are living in a giant mental ward and everyday the inmate population grows while charity hospital sits empty. i talked to people after the storm, doctors who went into charity and with the help of the germans pumped the water out of the basement and had three floors clean and operational, only to have the head of lsu kick them out upon threat of trespassing. he says charity is not safe and yet other buildings in that area have managed to open back up, such as the hutchinson clinic right across the street. besides, safe in new olreans these days is a relative term. is charity safer than a fema trailer that out gases its occupants? is charity safer than a mold encrusted house? is charity safer than wandering the streets at night, scared and confused because you cannot get the medicine necessary to help you? we have a health care crisis right now but lsu wants you to wait for their new proposed 16 block plus v.a/teaching hospital complex. why? charity is waiting. it is already constructed. oh sure, it needs a good scrubbing and some cosmetic work but at least it is a place for the ill to go. and the area that they propose to build in sits within designated historic districts. the second oldest mcdonough high school is there, built around 1879.
i just read in the paper today that they are saying that there is not much historic significance to the area and that is just bullshit. the environmental report isn't even in yet, which covers potential national register sites. why do we want to tear down more buildings in this city? didn't katrina do enough? part of what makes this city so magical is its historic buildings.
i think this city needs to start making a fuss about this. we need health care now! we need hospital beds now! we need a treatment plan for our mentally ill now! tell them that some future date does not cut it and demand they open charity back up! katrina changed everything. we can no longer afford to sit back and let things happen to us. they will change this city for the worse if we let them. every new orleanian must be an activist now!
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