Wow. I can't believe it's already March.
2017 has come in with a bang!
In the last several months, 4 of the homeowners we are working with moved back into their homes! To make this happen, we secured a total of $238,603 from the Road Home Program for their construction costs. Another 8 homeowners are currently in the construction process. We have secured $922,346 for these families. That's a total of $1,160,949 to complete the homes of 12 Lower 9th Ward families. Think what we'll do for the rest of the year!
Theo Watson's house and crew.
Long-time Lower 9th Ward homeowner Theo Watson and his crew are pulling long days, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., to make sure his home is finished in time for his April wedding! Theo has been so impressed by our work that he's now a member of our Board - making sure we can bring his neighbors the same help he received.
Ms. Ethel's historic shotgun home.
Our friends at Historic Green arrive next week to celebrate their 10th Anniversary volunteering in the Lower 9th Ward! On their agenda: Fix up the Delery Street Playground; Weatherize homes to make them more energy efficient; and Reframe some walls, replace bad siding and paint Ms. Ethel's house.
We are also reaching out to our neighbors in New Orleans East who were affected by the devastating EF-3 tornado that ripped through the community on February 7. We are helping to review files for homeowners who have been denied rebuilding assistance from FEMA, and we are reviewing homeowner's Road Home files to see if they qualify for additional funds.
And we've launched a public outreach campaign to hold the Army Corps of Engineers accountable for a disastrous boondoggle they are trying to push through - to widen the Industrial Canal and dynamite the existing 250,000 ton lock at the cusp of the Mississippi River. (Yes, this is the same canal that breached in Hurricane Katrina and caused so much destruction and loss of life in our community - courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers.) We will be sharing more information about our efforts to stop this project in a subsequent email. For now, we are proud to announce that we partnered with ten of our fellow Lower 9th Ward community organizations to submit a formal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Army Corps of Engineers for their methodology, l correspondences, and log reports regarding transit times for vessels in the Industrial Canal - in response to their asserted justification for the project.
As you can see, we are keeping busy in the Lower Nine! Thank you for all your support for our work.