For months, SBP has been planning its 7th Katrina anniversary appeal. We’ve planned for so long because the need is still so great – SBP has 130 families on our waiting list and we still receive 10+ calls each week from homeowners who cannot rebuild the homes they own without help. Now, Isaac is approaching and, for a moment, we paused and wondered – will our supporters continue to facilitate the recovery in New Orleans?
We realized, though, that our staff’s deep dedication to ensuring the preservation of “home” and “family” is fully matched by the commitment of our donors and volunteers, people whose support was vital to rebuilding homes for more than 450 families. People whose future support will be necessary for SBP to make sure that the recovery includes clients like Julie Cook, who have struggled, endured, fought and, against so many challenges, maintained hope.
So, we send this letter asking for help.
Yesterday, SBP’s staff worked a 12-hour day. They contacted 190 clients to make sure that each one had a safe and sustainable disaster plan, they boarded up 36 of the 39 homes we are rebuilding and they retrieved tools from each of these houses. Most important, the warehouse team, staffed by SBP’s Veterans Corps members, organized these tools in a way that, as soon as the storm passes, will ensure that SBP’s team and our volunteers can get right back to work.
Because we have to get back to work.
The notions of home, family and citizenship must have meaning. Sixty percent of our clients suffered contractor fraud, some had insufficient insurance payments, and others had forced mortgage payoffs. Our clients are not living high on the hog: several clients are living in gutted homes, three are in trailers in front of their home, and others are paying mortgages on gutted homes. Our clients are prideful, hardworking people who continuously ask themselves, “What does it take to move home?”
St. Bernard Project has an answer. It takes St. Bernard Project $25,000 to purchase building supplies, between 100-150 volunteers, and an average of 61 days to rebuild a house.
Clients on our waiting list are war veterans, single moms, and elderly couples. For the seniors, if we don’t act their “golden years” will be tarnished; for the youth, their childhood will be tainted. For all of our clients, we’ve seen the impact on their identity as American citizens.
Your investment in SBP helps clients like Elnora Hunter, a fifth generation New Orleanian and 27-year oyster shucker. Elnora’s rebuild funds were stolen by a fraudulent contractor – she is 70 years old and lives with her family in their partially finished home.
The time to finish the job is now. SBP needs your help.
Please make a contribution to our rebuild fund to directly help clients, like Ms. Hunter, move home. We urge you to think about your family on this 7th anniversary – to think about what you would ask of America if it were your home that was destroyed by a storm seven years ago. We believe this is a solvable problem, and by donating, you are part of the solution
P.S. Please help us spread the word that the work in New Orleans is not done! Forward this to your family and friends – anyone in your network who is interested in helping finish the job in New Orleans.