Kickoff to Rebuild 2013 Homeowners

Rebuilding Together's Kickoff to Rebuild 2013Information about the homeowners we will be serving as part of Rebuilding Together’s Kickoff to Rebuild, a Super Bowl Sanctioned Charity Event, in New Orleans, February 2013.

Thomas Clarkson: Vietnam Vet influenced by his father’s 30 years in the Navy

Thomas Clarkson was born and spent the early part of his life in Morocco while his father was stationed there with the Navy. His family moved to New Orleans when he was 7 years old. His mother’s French roots helped their family connect to the culture of New Orleans from the start. After growing up in a military family, Mr. Clarkson Mr. Clarkson's House decided to join the Air Force after a year of college. He was influenced by his father’s thirty year service in the Navy and wanted to continue the family tradition.

Mr. Clarkson saw combat in Vietnam before returning to the University of New Orleans for his Associates Degree in Business. Mr. Clarkson worked as a computer operator for AT&T for a few years before deciding to rejoin the military in 1991. In his second stint, he was in the Air Force reserves for four years. Mr. Clarkson now lives on Tita Street in the home that his father passed down to him. Mr. Clarkson enjoys his quiet neighborhood and hopes to remain in good spirits and good health for many years to come. Rebuilding Together hopes to give Mr. Clarkson and safer and healthier home to age in place in McClendonville.

The Moores: A family tradition of military and civil service

Henry and Santa Moore have always been there for their four children and each other; you can also say the same for Mr. Moore who has been an employee at the Post Office for the last 35 years. Mr. & Mrs. Moore have known each other nearly all of their lives and these two childhood sweethearts have been married for 34 years. While in high school, Mr. Moore was a stand out quarterback for his school, while Mrs. Moore was a member of the band. Shortly after graduating high school Mr. Moore joined the Navy and served for two years active duty  and twelve years in the reserves. After leaving active duty, Mr. Moore began working at the Post Office and moved into the McClendonville neighborhood, where they have resided since they were married. Over the next few years, Mr. and Mrs. Moore would have four children: two boys and two girls. Little did Mr. Moore know that his decision to serve would inspire his children to do the same. The Moores’ eldest son and daughter would follow in their father’s footsteps and join the military; both are currently serving in the Air Force. Recently, Mr. and Mrs. Moore’s daughter assisted many of her fellow New Orleanians during and after Hurricane Isaac. Mr. and Mrs. Moore attribute all of their children’s success to the way they were raised and the example that was set for them.

The Moores, like many other New Orleanians, would be tested during Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina brought much uncertainty to many families but theMooresbanded together as they always have and continued living their normal life. Mr. Moore said he returned home because, “I’ve been around the world and no matter where you go there ain’t no place quite likeNew Orleans.” With seven grandchildren Mr. and Mrs. Moore’s greatest hope for the city is that violence ceases. Mrs. Moore recalls the days where she would take their children to the park and are excited to be able to eventually share those same memories with her grandchildren.  The entireMoorefamily greatly appreciates the assistance that Rebuilding Together will provide to their community and their family. They plan on watching the Saints in Super Bowl XLVII in their newly rehabilitated home and revitalized neighborhood.

Anthony Hudson and Lauren Pope: Army tour in Iraq to post-Katrina New Orleans

After graduating from high school, Anthony Hudson leftNew Orleansand joined the Army, where he served one term as an Ammunition Specialist. While stationed inIraq, some 7,000 miles from home, Mr. Hudson was forced to watch with much uncertainty as the city of New Orleans faced one of its most challenging periods after Hurricane Katrina. With no way to contact his family and an impending mission, Mr. Hudson was torn between his loved ones and his duty. With nowhere to turn, his faith gave him the resolve to finish his tour. Since being honorably discharged, Mr. Hudson focused on improving the quality of life for his family and others around him.

Anthony Hudson has been invested in the Donsereau Harrison playground and McClendonville community since his birth. Growing up in the area, Mr. Hudson regularly visited the park with his friends and family. Mr. Hudson decided to return to McClendonville after his tour to improve his community after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. With a clear plan in place, Mr. Hudson and his fiancée, Lauren, began to think about purchasing a home for his family. Originally, upon first hearing the home for sale on Tita Street, they were both unsure if any of the homes would fit their needs. To their surprise the home was everything they needed and more.  The family soon moved into their new home, right around the corner from the park he played at as a child.

As a loving father of three children and a soon to be husband, Mr. Hudson enjoys spending time at home with his family and working on his music. He is excited and thankful for the opportunity to make some needed repairs for his and his children’s safety. Mr. Hudson and Ms. Pope look forward to enjoying married life in their home, watching their kids play at Donsereau Harrison playground, and sharing many more memories with their family in the McClendonville community.

The Tolberts: Fixed income prevents necessary repairs

Clarence and Deborah Tolbert have been life-long residents of New Orleans. Mr. and Mrs. Tolbert, who have lived in McClendonville for 20 years, lived in Gentilly before relocating to the West Bank. They raised two children in their two bedroom home.

Before Mr. and Mrs. Tolbert retired, they both held steady jobs, working for a trucking company and Hibernia Bank respectively. During Hurricanes Katrina & Isaac, the Tolberts evacuated toTexas and Alabama. Luckily, they only received minor damage due to the hurricanes, but the home is still in urgent need of exterior repairs to make it healthier and more energy-efficient. Unfortunately, their fixed income does not allow them to save enough money to take care of these repairs. The Tolberts have shared many great memories in their home and would like to continue to build more memories with their five grandchildren. Mr. Tolbert recently was diagnosed with lung cancer, but Mr. & Mrs. Tolbert’s love for each other is what helps them get through the tough times.

In their spare time, the Tolberts attend St. Thomas Missionary Baptist Church, and enjoy spending time with their neighbors and one another in their tight-knit community. The Tolberts recently contacted RTNO to rehabilitate their home. RTNO hopes to give them a bright new exterior and make their home more energy-efficient as well. With your help, this deserving family will be able to make long overdue repairs and enjoy retirement in their longtime home.

Lois Paige: Retired teacher needs home modifications

Lois Paige, a New Orleans resident for over 90 years, has always been a strong contributor within her community. As a retired secondary school teacher, Ms. Paige enriched the lives of many students at Fisk Elementary. When she was not teaching in local public schools, Ms. Paige and her husband also raised their only daughter, instilling her with the same educational values that she provided to many other children across the city. Her proudest moment as a parent and educator was when her daughter graduated from Tulane University’s Newcomb College in with a Bachelors Degree in Education.

After many years of providing and sacrificing for her family, Ms. Paige now receives remarkable care from her daughter. Due to her arthritis and other health issues, it is often difficult for her to move around her home, often resorting to a walker to access her home safely. However, her faith remains in tact when she attends church at Beacon Light.

Ms. Paige has lived in McClendonville for nearly seven years and finally purchased her home in 2007. This two bedroom-two bathroom home was built in 1950 is an asset that she hopes to one day pass to her daughter and son-in-law. Living next door to her grandson, Ms. Paige also feels an even greater sense of security. When Ms. Paige was approached by Rebuilding Together New Orleans to make repairs on her home, she welcomed the heartfelt kindness.

The Bridgewaters: 47 years together

Doris Bridgewater and her family have been residents of McClendonville for a long as she can remember. Some of her fondest memories of the neighborhood were shared at Doncereau-Harrison playground with her husband and two sons. Originally from White Castle, LA, Mrs. Bridgewater raised her
two sons with the same principles that she and her husband were raised with – respect, independence, honesty, and hard work. Those principles would direct both of her sons into military service. Mrs. Bridgewater was unsure about her sons joining the Marines but she understood the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few. Mrs. Bridgewater has always put her family first and she firmly believes that helping others makes you a better person.

Mr. & Mrs. Bridgewater have been married for 47 years and they strongly believe that the key to staying together is to continue loving each other no matter what. In April of this year Mrs. Bridgewater had a pacemaker implant and has been adjusting to a new way of living, but with the condition of her home slowly deteriorating that is easier said than done. With repairs needed to be made to the home and funds slowly dwindling, the Bridgewater’s did not know where else to turn. When Rebuilding Together New Orleans approached her about making repairs to their home free of charge, the Bridgewater’s were initially hesitant. However, after numerous visits with RTNO staff the Bridgewater’s were convinced that this was “a blessing from God” and accepted the offer. The Bridgewater’s greatest hope for the city is that we come together and love each other better, and they are excited to see the results of the upcoming work to their home.

Penny Baker: Artist and athlete

Penny Baker has lived in New Orleans for all of her life. Penny lives in McClendonville with her two basset hounds Moose and Maddie who she considers to be her children. During Katrina, Penny evacuated to Baton Rouge, but she was able to go back to her home the November following the storm. 

Penny lives close to her son and cares for her elderly mother who suffers from dementia. Penny worked for many years as a clerk but now devotes most of her time to her artwork. Penny often teaches art classes to students in the community and takes classes herself to continue learning new techniques. Penny started her own business doing ink drawings of people’s homes as keepsakes.

When Penny is not working on her art, she can be found training for triathlons, walking her dogs around the neighborhood or talking with her neighbors. Despite many hardships in her life, Penny remains a positive, upbeat, and supportive neighbor to all of Tita Street. Penny’s home is comfortable but small repairs will improve her safety and quality of life.

Mary Ann Williams: Damage left unrepaired since Katrina

Mary Ann Williams loves the quiet and shady neighborhood surrounding her corner lot onTita Street. Mary Ann has worked in food service in hospitals and schools throughout her career. She has worked at the same school since 1996. Mary Ann found herself moving to Tita Street when her old neighborhood became too dangerous for her and her family. During Hurricane Katrina, Mary Ann and her family left New Orleans and stayed with her niece out of state. Mary Ann describes the neighborhood that they came back to after the hurricane as a “war zone” that looked nothing like the home she remembered. Her house, along with her neighbors’ houses received wind damage and now faced expensive repairs that they could not complete themselves. As her neighbors started to slowly rebuild, Mary Ann had trouble maintaining her family needs and the repairs that were needed.

Mary Ann could not be happier that Rebuilding Together will be working on her home.  She says that Rebuilding Together putting a flyer on her door was a miracle, and that she is thankful that Rebuilding Together is able to help her and her family. Mary Ann takes care of her family and others with an endless positive attitude and Rebuilding Together will be able to make the quality of life repairs necessary for Mary Ann to take care of herself as well.

 

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October 5, 2012