New Orleans, LA – A crew of volunteers from Chevron gathered at the Gentilly house of A-R Brock and his wife, Ernestine. They're fixing leaks and painting the exterior and getting ready for professional roofers to replace the shoddy work of previous contractors. The Brocks have lived in the house for 38 years, and have struggled to repair the damage caused when eight feet of water flooded their home after Hurricane Katrina. But A-R developed back problems that left him unable to finish repairs on his own.
"I'll live with whatever they do. I'm grateful. It's a good feeling. A good feeling."
Rebuilding Together spokesman Jon Skvarka says that since Katrina, home rebuilding projects have expanded from October events to projects year-round. The group reaches out to homeowners through neighborhood associations.
"We can prioritize by need. We want to help the most vulnerable, which is usually elderly, disabled, single head-of-households."
Skvarka says Rebuilding Together has repaired about 1,000 homes throughout the Gulf Coast since Katrina, with 325 of those in New Orleans. He says the need was so great after the storm that volunteers came from around the country to help with repairs. He says local residents were then busy fixing their own homes, but will now be asked to volunteer for future projects for their neighbors.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming