The ice and water line at the Greater Jerusalem Baptist Church POD on Jensen Drive in northeast Houston is moving along briskly, but it certainly appears to be every man for himself.
76-year-old Rafe Osborne made the 8-mile trek from his powerless home in Scenic Woods -- quite an effort for a man with congenitive heart failure who can barely walk and has thick bandages on both knees. When his daughter, Yolanda Osborne, asked one of the many police officers if there was any help for the disabled, she said the cop told her to get back in the line that stretched a quarter-mile long with everyone else.
"My legs are spent and I can't walk anymore," said Rafe.
Suddenly, he began to topple and his daughter and a stranger in line grabbed Rafe to keep him from crashing to the asphalt.
"It's terrible that they don't have any help for the disabled," said Yolanda. "But they don't care." Yolanda Osborne said she came from her powerless home in Humble to this POD because it was the closest distribution point that she knew about.
It was at best, controlled chaos this afternoon outiside the church, which suffered severe roof damage during Ike.
Some thug even stole an elderly woman's purse.
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A woman named Sonovia drove her aging neighbor to the site for several much needed bags of ice. The elderly woman could not carry both the ice bag and her purse, so she set her handbag down for just a moment. When she looked up, the purse had been stolen.
"Someone took her purse," said Sonovia, "check book and all."
When asked if she planned on telling any of the many cops directing traffic and helping the line move along, she looked dejected and said, "There's nothing they can do. She'll have to go home and make a report."
-- Chris Vogel