The author is a member of St. Matthew's, Westminster, Anglican Church in London, England. He describes his experience as part of an Anglican volunteer group, working in New Orleans, with the U.S. Office of Disaster Response, the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana and St. Luke's Episcopal Church, New Orleans.
Hurricane Katrina struck on the night of 29 August 2005 but most of the damage was caused by flooding when the levees broke. Hyson describes the appalling condition of flooded, not rotting, homes which are only now being entered for the first time. "Survivors told me that in many ways their treatment over the intervening 15 [months] was more traumatic than the events themselves. They feel isolated, forgotten, invisible and are convinced that the reason is their poverty. For example, aid of $7 billion was promised but as of the end of November 2006, only 23 people had received any payments. Claim conditions include providing proof of house ownership -- but many have lost all documentation in the flood waters or have had the house for generations".