Land Between the Lakes, through its Senior Community Service Employment Program, is offering refugees aged 55 and older part-time jobs for up to two years.
Though the program has in the past required participants to meet particular income criteria, those considerations are currently being relaxed, as officials understand that refugees didn’t consider their income documents to be among their most-prized possessions.
One official said she hoped the program would give refugees “a little bit of self respect” at a time when they have almost nothing and prepare them for going “out in the real world [to] start all over again.”
Land Between the Lakes public affairs officer Kathryn Harper said the positions include assisting with administrative tasks or operating campground gatehouses.
Harper grew up in New Orleans, and knows what its refugees have had to leave behind.
“Heart breaking is not even a way to describe it, really,” she said. “There are some things that will be lost to history.
“Knowing how unique the city is … it just may not come back to that level,” she said.
Harper said she had many friends from high school and college who still lived in the city. She has received word-of-mouth updates on several of those friends, while others still haven’t been heard from.
Larry Bland, a Cadiz resident who works at the State Penitentiary, also grew up in Louisiana.
Bland moved there as a child in 1964. In 1965, Hurricane Betsy struck. It was that storm that inspired New Orleans to build its current levee system.
For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.