“ You walk to a back bedroom. There on the door hangs a shirt that someone was going to wear the next day. You reach to remove it, but realize it has fused itself to the door. You pry it off the door, leaving behind an imprint. The shirt and the door chemically fused together, creating a moment frozen in time, a snapshot of the scar left by the storm. A moment to reflect on the family that lived here and the person who once wore this shirt. A question races through your head, why has this home not been touched for 18 months?”
We gutted four homes in four different neighborhoods during our week in New Orleans. Some of our team also went out with a mobile medical unit to provide basic care in some of the poorest, devastated neighborhoods. We woke up each morning at 6:30am and were at our meeting point by 8 a.m. We finished up each day around 3:30 – 4pm with a reflection on our work for the day. The following slides are the process and the hard work of gutting a home down to the studs in one day!
We survey the home before we start work for the day.
Laundry room and bathroom
The work begins.
At the end of the day
Contents from the home The debris pile is about 60 feet long and in some places over 6 feet tall.
This is everything we could salvage from this home.
The people we met wanted us to bring back their story to you - to tell you that New Orleans is being rebuilt and they have hope for tomorrow… Everyone we met shared the same sentiment, “Thank you. If it was not for all the volunteers who have come down to New Orleans like yourselves, nothing would be getting done!”
The rebuilding has begun… New Habitat homes…
New Habitat homes…
The French Quarter
Everyone loves New Orleans Cooking and hot sauce…
One of the families we met invited us to their home for a crawfish boil. 60 lbs!
We finished all the crawfish… So we got beads…
There is a lot more work to be done in New Orleans and a lot of questions still to be answered… Through our experience we were able to help a few people to begin to rebuild their lives and keep the story of the people of New Orleans alive. Volunteers and donations are still greatly needed in New Orleans.
Thank you! To the Duquesne University Women’s Guild for funding this service trip to New Orleans through the Spring Fashion Show Luncheon.