This past Wednesday I had the honor of helping build a home for a family that was displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The house we worked on was one of two that Music For Relief has funded to be built in the Gulf Coast.
Foundations in this area of New Orleans are required by law to be almost six feet off of the ground to protect the homes from possible future floods. We started the workday by laying the sub-floor of the house.
Around noon, the first wall frame went up. During a short lunch break we heard one woman’s story of her loss during Hurricane Katrina who will be moving into her Habitat house in the next few months. She has already put in the required number of hours building to qualify for her home and is so inspired by Habitat that she continues to volunteer on other Habitat builds.
The home will look similar to these houses in Musicians’ Village when it is finished. Located in the Upper Ninth Ward, Musicians’ Village covers 8.1 acres with a total of 75 houses!
Aside from Musicians’ Village, many homes built by Habitat in New Orleans are the first in those neighborhoods to be rebuilt. The families that move into those homes are incredibly courageous. Imagine living in a neighborhood where the houses around yours have been demolished or are severely damaged by the storm that displaced you! And now for the best part…as rebuilding begins in a neighborhood, it usually sparks a hopeful reaction. More people see the courage of these leading families, and follow by returning and rebuilding their homes.
Go here for more information on Habitat’s efforts to rebuild the Gulf Coast: http://www.habitat.org/gulfrecoveryeffort/default.aspx
My experience volunteering with Habitat was amazing. So many people have volunteered with Habitat to help rebuild in the Gulf Coast, that they now have a waiting list! So if you want to volunteer there, sign up now. They also have plenty of opportunities to volunteer elsewhere. Check outhttp://www.habitat.org/ for more info!
Also, Music For Relief is still raising money to rebuild more homes in the Gulf Coast. To find out more about that effort visit http://www.musicforrelief.org/