I understand the difficulty. I know a guy who was living there until Katrina and when he went back he shot a mess of images. What I have seen of his work is mostly relatively close up and removed from context. I love his images, but I guess I don't feel the suffering when I look at them, perhaps I should, but I don't.
I like Dave's idea of photograping upbeat things, it seems that there needs to be more of that anyway.