You Know That it's Got to be Dedication That I am Still Here: The Experiences of Direct Support Professionals During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and Aftermath


A report describing the experiences of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who worked in New Orleans between August 2005 and May 2006 - before, during, and after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In 2006, the University of Minnesota was asked to conduct a series of interviews and focus groups with staff from two programs of the Volunteers of America (VOA) of Greater New Orleans: Supported Living Services (offering family and semi-independent living supports to adults and children with disabilities) and Community Living Services (offering group homes for adults and children with developmental disabilities). The purpose of the interviews was to learn what happened during the hurricanes, what worked and didn't work for DSPs and those they supported in relation to the evacuation, why the DSPs returned to New Orleans, and DSP recommendations for future disaster preparation and response.


Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL)
Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans


  • Direct support workforce
    • Supervision and mentoring
    • Human resources and management
    • Retention and recruitment
    • Workforce development strategies
    • Training
  • Community life
    • Community supports and services
  • Specific life stage
    • Adults
  • Health and safety
    • Emergency/disaster preparedness