A Letter From Executive Director Jim Pate
Photo Credit: White Donut Productions
You have made this an incredible year, and we cannot thank you enough. With your help, we have completed the largest blitz build our affiliate has ever undertaken, forged new partnerships and initiated new programs to expand our impact, and continued our core programs in the fight against poverty housing.
Our ongoing recognition of the ten years of resilience and recovery since Hurricane Katrina started with the 2015 AmeriCorps Build-A-Thon, a ten-day, ten-home blitz build on America St. in New Orleans East and culminated the week of the anniversary with a series of events, including our Songs From the Heart concert series and our participation in the Citywide Day of Service. Thousands of people came together to support our city, joining us to honor both the losses and the progress of the last decade, sharing the hope that our continued efforts will build a greater city than before the storm.
We are especially excited that we raised the walls on the first of six rental units that we are building with Covenant House. These units will allow at-risk youth (including those who are aging out of foster care) and families in Covenant House’s programs to find affordable rentals while they transition into a better life. By offering a stable environment for young people to live in, NOAHH and Covenant House provide them with the time and resources to acclimate to a life outside of foster care or other support programs. NOAHH and Covenant House have long been friends and partners, and this new program will be the start of a long-term collaboration that will allow us to provide safe, affordable housing to even more hard working New Orleanians.
This program is only one small way in which NOAHH is expanding our fight against poverty housing. Because everyone deserves a decent place to live, and because not everyone is willing or able to own a home, it is imperative that affordable, safe rentals be a part of our mission. Nationwide, the number of affordable rentals is in decline, and the effects of the flooding ten years ago only made them more scarce locally. To address that need, NOAHH will be including rental properties along with our usual inner city infill, with a future focus on the Lower Ninth Ward, and our A Brush With Kindness, Attack the Block, and Habitat Urban Garden programs will continue to help us achieve a greater impact on the communities where we build.
That impact was made evident as we commemorated the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina alongside thousands throughout the city, and even more evident was the fact that without volunteers, donors, and other supporters—especially our partner families—joining us over these last ten years, none of this progress would have been possible. With your help, we will win the fight against poverty housing in the New Orleans area.
New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity