Help us continue to bring neighbors home affected by natural disasters

August 31, 2020
by William Stoudt, Executive Director at Rebuilding Together New Orleans

Did you see the story of Mr. Felix on CNN? He’s lived in his New Orleans home since 1978, but had to relocate to St. Louis, MO to live with relatives after Hurricane Katrina flooded his home. Over the years, he tried putting his house back together as much as he could.

Working with him, we finished the repairs he had started and made his home safer by installing drywall and insulation. We also made modifications that will help him age in place. It shouldn’t have taken 15 years but he is finally home.

“I find it strange to be a refugee who’s from the United States but when I’ve seen us [after Katrina] on TV, that’s when it hit me, that was us," Mr. Felix tearfully told CNN as he reflected on the devastation in his community following the storm 15 years ago.

According to ABC News, over 175,000 Black residents left New Orleans after the storm and more than 75,000 never returned. Meanwhile, the white population returned to its nearly pre-storm total. These trends pushed the share of the Black population down to 59 percent in 2013 from 66 percent in 2005 and accelerated the erosion of the Black middle class in the city.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that people and families of lower socioeconomic status are more vulnerable during natural disasters and more likely to suffer serious consequences, including higher rates of property damage, homelessness, physical and financial loss. Together, we can change that reality.

Help us continue to bring neighbors affected by natural disasters. Become a [Re]Builder by donating today.