Evacuees start to rebuild lives with jobs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Evacuees start to rebuild lives with jobs

September 22, 2005

Albany- Many evacuees won't be able to return to their homes for weeks, if they return at all. Some are rebuilding their lives here in south Georgia. Tony Fernandez, his wife Jennifer, and their 12 year old daughter Chloe lost everything in Katrina's wake, including their jobs. They've found work in south Georgia and plan on building a new life here.

It's back to work for Tony Fernandez, but with each nail he's also rebuilding his family's life.

"Without the help I had from Kelly Services and when I first got there I spoke with Carrie and they all went well out of their way to help me," said Tony.

The Fernandez family lived in Jefferson Parrish and lost their home to flood waters and mold. The only thing salvaged, Tony's tools so he could continue working. His employer Jake Williams wasn't taking on new workers, but was happy to be able to help out and put Tony to work.

"I don't too much like taking from the government, but I don't have too much choice in this situation," said Tony.

His wife also got a job doing office work with a little help from Kelly Services.

"Actually I've done a little bit of everything, but that's the job I was hoping for," said Jennifer Fernandez.

Hurricane Katrina has given the Fernandez's a new lease on life. After Rita, Tony may help with the rebuild along the gulf, all the while reconstructing his family's life in south Georgia.

"Because of the need, and it's also paying a whole lot more, it's paying double what it pays here, just because of the hurricane," said Tony.

The family has secured an apartment in Lee County and their daughter Chloe has enrolled in school. Jennifer could begin work within the week.

Other employers including Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Sonic have offered positions to evacuees searching for jobs.

feedback: news@walb.com