The Road Home Program has finally acknowledged my parents’ existence. For those outside the area, I’m referring to the Louisiana recovery program designed to assist homeowners impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The program gives affected owners grants for rebuilding or a buyout option if you don’t want to own another home here (for those leaving the area or who’d prefer to rent and let someone else take the risk of owning property in a sub-sea-level hurricane zone). The plan aims to aid the uninsured as well as close the gap between losses sustained and insurance payouts. Insurance rarely covered everything, at least if you had water damage — and insurance doesn’t cover the fact that a piece of land previously worth many thousands may now be next to worthless.

So anyway, given that my parents are highly representative of both examples in that last sentence, we’ve been hoping they would get some money from the program to compensate them for their losses and to take the now-vacant lot off their hands. But it’s been almost a year now since the program started and they’d heard nothing. I was seriously convinced that either the Road Home computers ate their application or some fumbling clerk deleted their application. (The program is not known for its stellar accuracy, or even its competence.) And yet, like a little gift from Heaven, there in the mailbox today was the much-sought-after letter telling them to call for their appointment.

Joy. Complete and utter bliss.

Yes, it’s a small step — a very small step — but at least now we’re on the road.

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