Maxine Harris and family
David Friedman  /
Maxine Harris and her family pose outside their home in Westwego, La. From left, nephew Carlos Page, sister Vivian Page, grandson Charles Harris, Maxine Harris, husband John Harris, and nephews Solomon and Corey Page.
updated 8/28/2006 6:39:43 AM ET 2006-08-28T10:39:43

Maxine Harris, 48, Westwego, La. Married and the owner of an insured house worth approximately $90,000.

Every time we talk with Maxine Harris, she is optimistic, even back when we first met her at an evacuation center in Natchez, Miss., about a month after Katrina drove her and her large extended family from their homes in the New Orleans area.

At last visit several months ago, she was busy with two jobs — doing home health care and working in a restaurant. The only time we were able to get an answer on her home phone she was, as always, at work.

This time, we were unable to reach her for comment.

It would be great to know that her insurance check — which last time we spoke was supposed to be in the mail — had actually arrived. At that point, Maxine was ready to hunker down and replace the mold-damaged sheetrock and other fixes her house needed after suffering relatively minor Katrina-related flooding.

Regardless, after following Maxine's progress over the course of the year, there is every reason to believe that she hasn't let any grass grow under her feet.

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