Emergency Payday Loans Aren’t an Option if You Don’t Have a Credit History
Robert Owens hoped to evacuate Baton Rouge (the capital of Louisiana) with his wife, mother-in-law, roommates, and pets. However, they did not have the moneyFrom the Latin word moneta, nickname that was given by Romans to the goddess Juno because there was a minting workshop next to her temple. Money is any item that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular region, country or socio-economic context. Its onset dates back to the origins of humanity and its physical representation has taken on very varied forms until the appearance of metal coins. The banknote, a typical representati... More to escape. “Our bank account is empty – we can’t afford to leave,” Owens said.
Owens was denied a payday loan from ACE CashMoney in physical form such as banknotes and coins. More Express due to insufficient credit history. “The fact that we are not middle class or above, it just kind of keeps coming back to bite us over and over again, in so many different directions and ways – a simple payday advance being one of them. It’s like we’re having to pay for being poor, even though we’re trying to not be poor,” he said.
Most of his neighbours were in the same situation. “There [are] people who have funds to lean on or are able to get out of here, but there’s a big chunk of people that are lower-income that don’t have a savings account to fall on. We’re left behind,” Owens said.
Widespread Electricity and Internet Outages
Public authorities in Mississippi and Louisiana were very concerned about extreme heat and the lack of air conditioning for vulnerable populations. New Orleans officials urged those who had fled the city to stay away indefinitely until recovery efforts had advanced. But this was no comfort for those left behind.
- Robert Owens was worried about power and internet outages, as everyone in his household worked from home. “We might be without work, and rent, power, water, all of those bills will still be needing to get paid. We are a little bitIn computers, the basic unit of digital information; contraction of BInary digiT. More concerned about losing our utilities or even our house -if it’s still standing – because we’re not going to have the money for any other bills.”
- Laura Bergerol could not evacuate New Orleans on time. “Just checked my bank; there is a charge for $400 I didn’t make. My banks disputing it. Nevermind its $ I need!,” she tweeted. The 65-year-old photographer stayed in her apartment. She died on September 5 due to the intense heat.
- In New Orleans East, the Willows apartment complex residents were overwhelmed by the extreme heat and humidity. The electricity was out, and many lacked cash, gas, or cellphones with a charge.
Relief Efforts Made Possible (and More Difficult) by Retail PaymentA transfer of funds which discharges an obligation on the part of a payer vis-à-vis a payee. More Instruments
Relief efforts to support the affected communities have relied on a combination of payment instruments, with varying degrees of success:
- Walmart and Sam’s Club started a campaign at their cash registers to raise money for the American Red Cross. Walmart matched donations up to $10 million.
- Some mutual aid organizations (including the HU Louisiana Club) and individuals employed Cash App and other instant payment apps to receive donations.
- Mutual Aid Houston requested Venmo and Cash App to “#stoptheholds” and release “the limits on all Louisiana mutual aid accounts” so that they could “continue the important work of directly distributing funds as part of hurricane Ida relief.” This problem was also faced by Texas organizations during snowstorm Uri in February 2021.
- Some relief organizations (Imagine Water Works) distributed financial help with prepaid Visa cards. Other individuals distributed aid to disaster victims and first responders in cash.
- After raising over $7 thousand via PayPal, Scalawag editor Ko Bragg converted the funds to cash and distributed them in envelopes.
- Entrepreneur Sidney D. Torres IV handed cash bonuses to sanitation workers to recognize their extra workload.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) distributed housing assistance vouchers to victims who lost their houses to reimburse them for a hotel room or rent elsewhere. The vouchers have been less than ideal for Tammy Manuel, a resident of Houma, Louisiana. The closest hotel she and her two siblings could find was a two-hour drive west.
Cash and Supplies
Experts recommended those interested in helping disaster relief, and recovery efforts donate cash first and assist with supplies only in those communities without supplies or stocks.
- “A gentleman asked me if he could send me a check to buy supplies, and I said, “It would be greatly appreciated, sir, but we’d rather the supplies. You can’t eat money,” said Mathew Choust, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Golden Meadow, Louisiana. Choust reported that nearly all money was worthless as most stores in his community were destroyed.
- “If you don’t have power and you don’t have water, sending 500 bucks doesn’t help at all. Cash just gives you purchasing power. It doesn’t create more resources,” said Jeremy Thornton, associate dean of Samford University’s business school.
However, some relief efforts combined cash and supplies to affected communities.
- Raegan Duplantis Creppell and her colleagues from the Helio Foundation brought cash, ice, and cleaning supplies to disaster victims in Louisiana’s bayou country communities. The Helio Foundation is a small charity headquartered in Houma, Louisiana, founded in 2011, that has raised more than $640,000 via Gofundme to dateThe year in which a medal or coin was minted. On a banknote, the date is usually the year in which the issuance of that banknote - not its printing or entering into circulation - was formally authorised. More to support relief efforts.
- Gayle Dardar, a resident of Pointe-Aux-Chenes, found her credit cards were useless due to the power and internet outages. “You couldn’t use your Visa. You didn’t have access to your bank account. You didn’t have access to any of those things,” said Dardar. She received $400 in cash from the Helio Foundation. “This was a blessing. They have just made it so much better,” said Dardar. She praised how cash aid restored her neighbours’ agency amid Ida’s devastation. “They didn’t even have to spend it on something specific. It was theirs. It was a gift for them to use whatever it took to make their lives easier,” said Dardar.
Donating supplies in a disaster can be positive if they come from nearby. However, they can also raise the cost of the response cycle, complicating humanitarian logistics.
“We’re learning models of direct cash assistanceThe term cash assistance refers to direct cash transfers to individuals, families and communities in need of humanitarian support in lieu of in-kind commodities or direct service delivery. The term can be used interchangeably with ‘cash-based interventions’ (CBI), ‘cash transfer programming’ (CTP), ‘cash and voucher assistance’ (CVA), and ‘cash-based programming (CBP)’. It does not include fund transfers from donors, payment of incentives to the staff of local authorities, paymen... More, especially in a crisis, can be quite effective. We should not think about one model necessarily supplanting but rather supplementing, complementing and really giving us much more impact on the families that are in need,” said Una Osili, Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy at Indiana University.
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