Families Still Struggling as 2007 Storm Season Approaches

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Thousands of Floridians faced homelessness after eight hurricanes hit or brushed by the state in 2004 and 2005.

Many moved in with family members, into apartments or government trailers. While most have regained some normalcy, hundreds remain in limbo, struggling with poverty, depression and hopelessness as another hurricane season bears down.

At the peak, more than 17-thousand Florida families were housed in FEMA trailers after the 2004 storm season. More than 19-hundred trailers were put into use in the state after the 2005 storms.

But FEMA only provides housing for 18 months after a storm in most cases. The agency has since sold or donated trailers to charities and municipalities, who took over assisting families.

Florida created a disaster housing unit to hasten the process, but bureaucracy has slowed everything down.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)