Southern Louisiana is hardly recognizable after the wrath of Katrina. The forecasts made Tara Briscoe leave the area, along with her husband and two children...and the one on the way.
"I'm relaxed now since I've been to the doctor to see about myself and my body," Briscoe said. "It's just was hard before because [the birth] wasn't arranged. I didn't know where I was going to go."
Tara ended up at Christ United Methodist Church, the special needs shelter in the area. While the evacuee numbers there are small, the care is still big, with medical staff on hand 24/7, and frequent visits from medical units to the patients who range in age from 8 to 80.
"This is just a place where we can watch them closer so they don't get lost in a larger crowd of, say, 200," said Carolyn Discher, a registered nurse working at Christ UMC. "We're just watching to make sure there aren't any problems."
"We had 60 beds set up to accept anybody with any need of medical assessment," said Judy Foster, a shelter coordinator, "and one of our first ones was Tara."
With the changes that have happened at home, Briscoe says she and her family are here to stay, including for the birth of her third son.
"It's just important because I love this community," she said. "It's a wonderful community. They have beautiful people here, lovely people that are so nice. There's no where else I would want to be at right about now."
And for those at the shelter and in the community who have helped the Briscoe family, Tara's message is simple.
"Thank you for all your generocity and your love," said Briscoe as she fought back tears. "Thank you."
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