Homelessness Rises After Towers Fall

With clarity rooted in trauma, Marion Legare remembers a precise detail: The clock in the Port Authority’s cafeteria where he worked read 8:50 a.m. and was fast when the plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center.

It took 45 minutes for Legare, 39, to make his way with a long line of people through smoke and water and the searing smell of jet fuel down the stairs 43 floors to the street.

Little did he know when he finally emerged from the tower into sunlight that the staircase would lead to a homeless shelter.

Roger Morgan worked for a messenger service when the twin towers collapsed. Fully half of the firm’s clients were either in the trade center or were businesses in other parts of the city that relied on companies in the complex.

Two weeks after the attack, Morgan, 41, was fired from his $6.50-an-hour courier’s job, and, like Legare, the downward spiral began.