In 2005 hurricane Katrine hit New Orleans. Close to 80% of the city was flooded due to the affects of the storm and the failings of the levees. In 2008 I took a very short trip to New Orleans and saw a bit of the damage in the lower 9th Ward. Its been nearly 10 years since the storm and there are still so many homes in disrepair. My friend Kate works with Americore to help the rebuilding in St. Bernard Parish and I tagged along with her one of the days I was there.
The home they’ve been working on most recently is almost finished so they spent most of the day troubleshooting any electrical problems. I was surprised by how nice it was! When I imagined Kate and the Americore team rebuilding houses for some reason I pictured them building the basic structure and not much else. I don’t know why I had that impression, but I did. The houses aren’t over the top or anything, but they had nice cabinetry, light fixtures, and bright exterior paint jobs. It really felt like through building such new and bright homes, the whole city is getting a fresh start.
This was a damaged house across the street. Thats pretty much how this area looked; a couple houses that looked new and then a couple houses that were totally abandoned, all on the same block. So much work goes into rebuilding just one house. After working that day with Kate I really admire and respect everyone who did any kind of work to help rebuild this city. Its clear that it hasn’t been easy, but the people that are born and raised here and the people who relocate here to help all love this city. And after a week there, I fell in love with it too.