Katrina Victims Struggling to Move On

WILMINGTON -- The haunting images of Hurricane Katrina tearing through New Orleans was seen across the country. Survivor Lee Ann Bemboom and her son Jahon saw them with their own eyes.

A year later, Bemboom and her son had moved on to Wilmington. Photographers and journalists alike in the Cape Fear region were interested in what Bemboom's life had been like over the past year.

"Really you don't even think about it being a year," said Bemboom. "But if you do stop and think about it, it's rather depressing. Your whole life has been turned upside down."

Bemboom said that a lot of people expect Katrina victims to be up and on their feet after a year. But for her, that was just not the case. The mother was having problems with Social Services, among other areas of her life.

"They don't quite get it. They think you should be able to take care of yourself," said Bemboom. "I understand their point, but if you've never been in that situation, you don't know what to do."

Bemboom had help with housing, but she still did not have a car nor a job. Her cousin, Charlotte Hackman, tracked her down after Katrina and helped her move to Wilmington.

"Trying to straighten up people's lives and re-locate to a totally strange place with nothing but the clothes on their back, that doesn't happen easily," said Hackman.

Life had not been easy for Bemboom and her son since Katrina. But while they did not have much, her son had learned the lesson of sharing with others.

Reported by Kacey Gaumer

To learn how to help Lee Ann Bemboom and other Katrina victims, visit http://www.leeannbemboom.com/.