NEW ORLEANS - They’re visible for blocks and blocks – Hurricane Katrina x-codes used by search and rescue teams that entered the area after the storm. They’re bruises on miles of condemned homes scattered through the area and a reminder that New Orleans is still recovering.
Recovery is something with which the St. Bernard Project is familiar. Since 2006 the organization has been rebuilding homes destroyed by the storm, and while their impact only represents only a small percentage of what needs to be done, it is visible in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans.
The folks at St. Bernard Project don’t have to hunt for work. Standing in the middle of the street in many areas, a 360-degree spin reveals plenty that needs to be done. Clients come to them, and they are still getting at least 10 calls a week from people in need of help.
“What’s overwhelming is there is a tremendous amount of work to do, and for some clients, they feel like the country has forgotten about them,” said St. Bernard Project development director Adrian Cohn. “The only way we can finish this job is that if everybody chips in. When I say that, I mean people need to donate money …and people should come down here to volunteer.”
Cohn believes community is important to most Americans. He stresses that community is not defined by proximity.
With a staff of about 100 people, Cohn said St. Bernard Project currently is building about 80 homes each year. He says their goal is to build about 100.
The St. Bernard Project currently works with homeowners that can’t afford to hire a contractor but can afford flood insurance.
The project aims to eventually expand into areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
ABC2 News has been working with St. Bernard Project this week. Members of the ABC2 team along with several Ravens fans, will volunteer time on a home build Thursday.
If you were unable to help with the home build, you can donate, CLICK HERE .
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