Thanks to so many people who donated on GiveNOLA Day, 2017, Ms. Galetha's Outreach Campaign has taken off!
Here she is, on the left, with her sister Cynthia. They are out knocking on doors, specifically targeting the block of a former resident who still isn't home - and who meets the initial requirements for a rebuilding grant. They are asking the neighbors for information on how we can reach out to the missing homeowner.
They are so perfect for this job. First of all, they just signed a construction contract to have their own childhood home rebuilt. They can share first hand the real benefit of working with the Lower 9th Ward Homeownership Association. Second, from having lived in the neighborhood from birth through the levee failures, they really do know everyone. And third, their gleeful personalities and continual banter draw people in. Residents who've made it home are happy to share information on their missing neighbors with the sisters.
Their work is already paying off. One of the families who received a flier from Galetha and Cynthia had started to repair their home years ago but ran out of money. They had flood insurance - but it was paid directly to their mortgage company so they weren't able to use it for rebuilding. We are working on qualifying them for a grant to replace their lost insurance proceeds - of $92,000!! This will be enough for them to complete their repairs and return home.
Also this week, a committed and enthusiastic group of students from James Madison University left fliers at every house in the Lower 9th Ward neighborhood - about 1700 residences. This is something we've never been able to accomplish before. They also talked to many residents to share information about our program, reported back to us on issues that neighbors are concerned about, rescued two dogs, and visited Ronald Lewis at the House of Dance and Feathers.
The students were making sure residents are aware of a community meeting we are holding to identify pre-storm homeowners we may be able to qualify for additional rebuilding funds. If you or anyone you know may need our help, please come to the meeting:
Saturday, August 5, 2017, 10 a.m.
Martin Luther King High School
5300 N. Rocheblave Street
Thank you so much to everyone who donated to make this concerted outreach campaign possible.