Alex Hubbard has many things in his life to be thankful for. He has two daughters in college, two more finishing high school and a newly constructed home in New Orleans. But one thing he doesn't have is a job.
The former offshore technician has been living and working in the gulf since the late eighties, but since Hurricane Katrina he has struggled to find work. The BP blowout in the Gulf and the slowdown of the oil drilling business in the area haven't helped.
When he started his career in offshore drilling in 1986, Hubbard says there were a lot of people living in his neighborhood. He and his buddies would work 14 days straight, then have seven days off. He said life back then was "like a vacation." Fortunately, Hubbard was on his seven-day leave when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.
Over the next five years, Hubbard and his family found housing where they could. They lived in a Salvation Army shelter, a hotel room, FEMA trailer and a sister-in-law's house before they eventually returned to the Lower Ninth Ward. Hubbard and his family were some of the lucky few that received help from local organizations, such as the volunteer group, lowernine.org, and were able to rebuild.
From The New York Times:
The homecoming celebration is scheduled for later this month. They are trying to find a time when Mr. Hubbard will be in town rather than waiting around his company's headquarters for some work to turn up.
But for Hubbard, this isn't enough. Having not worked for months, he has no money to buy furniture or even a refrigerator. He is thankful for all that he has, but envisions a long and troubled future if his unemployment continues.