Video: Katrina couple hopes for economic boost

By Anchor
CNBC
updated 9/22/2005 9:55:32 AM ET 2005-09-22T13:55:32

There are some Hurricane Katrina evacuees who have taken a gamble that a life far away from New Orleans may be a step up the economic ladder.

That’s the thinking of a young, black couple that moved from a poor section of New Orleans to Boise, Idaho— relying on the kindness of strangers.

LaTasha Gabriel and Daren Duncan’s new apartment is full of new appliances and new furniture — an embarrassment of riches and more than they’ve ever owned.

“They’re welcoming us with open arms,” says Gabriel,“And they’re trying to do everything they can to help us.”

Their situation is part of an outpouring from the people of Boise, like landlord Dorothy Dutton, who volunteered a duplex “because there was a need for it to be used this way... and we could,” says Duncan.

Gabriel and Duncan say they don’t miss New Orleans or the now-damaged home they lived in with his mother. They feel liberated.

“The things that were happening in New Orleans were already tragic — the murder rates, poverty,” says Duncan.

“We always wanted the same things out of life, something more out of life,” adds Gabriel, shaking her head, “It was just always so hard… so hard.”

Which is why today is a good day: Kindergarten begins for their daughter, Dymon Lynn, who’s 5-years-old. They think their kids will now grow up in Boise, and go to high school here.

But, amid all this generosity, there’s pressure to stand on their own.

“I know I got to get money, that’s all,” says Duncan. “It’s not a normal feeling not to have anything. To have nothing.”

Duncan plans to enroll in school and look for work while both of them try to “fit in” in a town that is less than one percent black.

They are a young couple, whose true belongings are now just some photos and a Bible.

“That’s what got us this far,” says Gabriel, “So we don’t mind starting over with a Bible.”

They are also trying to understand how they can have so little  — and so much.

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