Monday, March 19, 2012

Casey and Michael here...

The first day of work was difficult but also incredibly illuminating. It’s overwhelming, to all of us, the amount of small-scale things that need to be done, and I think this really became clear today. We were in a woman’s house. She hasn’t been able to return and fix it herself due to lack of funds. Through United Saints, she’s able to have the free labor she needs to return to her neighborhood. But it’s going to take a LOT of work between now and then. We started priming and painting and stripping paint and cleaning everything, and we’re doing more of that tomorrow. A lot of small things adding up to a life-changing difference for this woman.
Her house is in New Orleans East, which was hit really hard by Hurricane Katrina. The neighborhood is still being rebuilt; there were houses completely empty and abandoned next door and yards that have grown wild.
Later, we went to a mosque to hear about their rebuilding efforts and some personal accounts of the storm and what’s happened to their community. Their hospitality was greatly appreciated, and their stories brought reality to the hurricane’s aftermath. Their community is doing some really great things with the youth affected by hurricane Katrina, and they’ve been slowly fixing up their block, turning it into a real community. 

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