St. Bernard Project

Rebuilding the Homes and Lives of Katrina Survivors

Charles and Rosalind King

Rosalind King is a tough, passionate mother and wife. Before the storm she lived in a home she owned in Violet, LA with her husband Charles and their two sons. She was working in accounting at Murphy Oil Company while her husband, also a minister, worked as a truck driver. Charles and Rosalind paid off their house in 1995. Rosalind recounts that the happiness of owning their home was great because they were able to save enough money to take their family on vacations every year—they took their boys to Disney World, went on cruises and traveled to family reunions out of state.

In August of 2005, Charles and Rosalind packed up two or three pairs of clothes and left early on a Sunday morning for Baton Rouge—not for a family vacation, but for a hurricane evacuation. The Kings, dedicated to financial independence and responsibility, had saved some money to use in the event there was an evacuation. But by Tuesday, as they watched the news from Baton Rouge to see the images of the levees breaking and their city under water, they realized their savings wasn’t going to be enough.

Charles and Rosalind ended up in Houston, TX for a few months before Charles was called back to resume work removing debris from the city. Rosalind stayed in Houston with her youngest son, Treyvon, until he finished school in 2006 before returning to the New Orleans area to go back to work and be with her husband.  The Kings’ home was completely destroyed by the storm, but they were finally able to purchase a gutted house in Violet in July of 2010.

The Kings are currently living in a FEMA trailer, just as they have been for the past six years, only now it’s parked on their land at their new home.  In those six years Charles and Rosalind have been through a lot. In 2008 Rosalind had to quit her job to take care of her mother, Carolyn, who had a stroke. Her youngest son has been in and out of different schools since the storm.

Despite losing her home, living in a tiny FEMA trailer with her family of four, and taking care of her mother until she passed away in June of this year, Rosalind remains a strong, optimistic woman. She and her husband were both raised in St. Bernard Parish and, as she says, she loves, “living in an area where you’re safe, everyone taking care of each other.” So she and her family continue on their quest to return home. Not just for themselves, though, but to serve the people of their community, too.

Charles’ ministry is still in St. Bernard, where it’s always been. In the face of all they’ve been through, the Kings are passionate about taking care of other families in their community. Charles and Rosalind are a moving example of a sweet, kind, generous, and responsible family who just want to finish raising their children in the community in which they were raised, and continue to give back to and bless that community the way they feel it has blessed them.

As Rosalind says, “there’s no place like home.”

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