No way out: Many poor stuck in Houston
By Deborah Hastings, AP National Writer
HOUSTON – Wilma Skinner would like to scream at the officials of this city. If only someone would pick up their phone.
“I done called for a shelter, I done called for help. There ain’t none. No one answers,” she said, standing in blistering heat outside a check-cashing store that had just run out of its main commodity. “Everyone just says, ‘Get out, get out.’ I’ve got no way of getting out. And now I’ve got no money.”
With Hurricane Rita breathing down Houston’s neck, those with cars were stuck in gridlock trying to get out. Those like Skinner – poor, and with a broken-down car – were simply stuck, and fuming at being abandoned, they say.
“All the banks are closed and I just got off work,” said Thomas Visor, holding his sweaty paycheck as he, too, tried to get inside the store, where more than 100 people, all of them black or Hispanic, fretted in line. “This is crazy. How are you supposed to evacuate a hurricane if you don’t have money? Answer me that?”