St. Bernard Project (SBP) is a national long-term disaster recovery organization whose mission is to ensure that communities at risk of, or impacted by, disasters have the resources to prepare and recover in the most prompt, efficient and predictable way possible. Through Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lab (DRRL), SBP works to share lessons learned, prevent common barriers to recovery and help communities utilize SBP’s standardized, repeatable and proven-effective model.
Programs and Goals
From the New Orleans to the East Coast, SBP serves disaster-impacted homeowners across the country with its Rebuilding Program and Disaster Resiliency and Recovery Lab. To date, we have rebuilt over 800 homes nationwide. In New Orleans, Louisiana, we also operate two further direct service programs: Opportunity Housing, and Good Work Good Pay. These programs are designed to restore hard-working, family-oriented communities and to reach the following goals:
- Ensure that individuals, families and the community are able to recover from disaster promptly, efficiently, and predictably
- Create humane, safe, secure and affordable housing
- Create living wage jobs for veterans in the community
St. Bernard Project was started in 2006 by Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg, a teacher and lawyer, respectively, from Washington, D.C., after they saw the tremendous needs, yet solvable problems in the New Orleans region. During their initial month of service, they met residents who were courageous, spirited and determined to rebuild their lives and community. They shared their stories, opened their homes and made Liz and Zack laugh, cry and question their own values. Inspired by the residents’ collective spirit, openness and fierce desire to rebuild their lives and community, Zack and Liz decided to create an organization that would provide vital resources and support to families in a seamless and timely manner. SBP’s programs and goals are directly driven by the needs expressed by the community members.
Immediately after the May 2011 EF-5 Tornado that devastated Joplin, Missouri, SBP saw the need for prompt paths for recovery for tornado-impacted residents. SBP partnered with local nonprofit Rebuild Joplin to provide long-term recovery and rebuilding services, ensuring Joplin families have access to safe and affordable housing. We are proud to say that in December 2014, Rebuild Joplin will be the first of SBP’s operations to complete its recovery.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, SBP began working on the ground in New York and New Jersey to help displaced families rebuild their homes and lives. In New York, we partnered with local organizations Friends of Rockaway and The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation in 2013 to activate our proven-effective model in Queens and Staten Island, respectively. In New Jersey, we joined partnered with Sea Bright Rising in March of 2014 and have since expanded operations to serve homeowners up and down the Jersey Shore.
St. Bernard Project is an independent non-profit organization. St. Bernard Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability or age in the selection of clients, recruitment of volunteers and in the hiring of staff.