Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Three more families welcomed home!

SBP kicked off the New Year with a big few weeks! We are so excited to have welcomed home three families already this year.

The Crafts evacuated to a shelter in Mississippi with 15 extended family members before Katrina and ended up staying there for more than 8 months. We're so glad they are now home in St. Claude with their 2 children!

Known for going out of their way to help others in need, the Kings are also now home. We were so proud to welcome such a generous family home on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service in recognition of their commitment to their community.

Cynthia Dellevalle is home, too. She does not have to drive from Mississippi to visit her grandchildren now, see her church community, or celebrate beloved New Orleans traditions like Mardi Gras.

Thank you for all that you have done to help us make these days possible for our inspiring homeowners. We're looking forward to many more homecoming celebrations in 2012 thanks to the support of our partners like United Way, our donors, and our dedicated volunteers!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Patrón Tequila Express stops through New Orleans

The Patrón Tequila Express railcar is stopped in New Orleans today! The vintage train car belongs to the owner of Patrón Spirits Company, John Paul DeJoria. It is occasionally used for promotional tours by the company when Patron holds events around the country.

Due to St. Bernard Project’s partnership with Patrón, a couple of SBP staffers were invited to come check out the restored 1926 railcar this afternoon. The Express is parked in the station at Decatur and Esplanade, right in the French Quarter and only a stone’s throw away from the French Market!

You can see the whole New Orleans skyline from the top of the car!

Patrón has been a great sponsor of SBP and our work. They've made generous financial contributions, in-kind donations of product for special events, and held several fundraisers for SBP. In fact, in 2008, Patrón hosted a series of fundraisers across the country aboard the Patrón Tequila Express to raise funds for SBP's rebuilding program.

Thanks Patrón for having us out to the Express today, and we're looking forward to the events Patrón will have in New Orleans in the future!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Progress Update on the Stroder Home Rebuild

James talks with a group of volunteers from
Glover Park Group in early December.
As a native of the Ninth Ward, Jimmy Stroder has spent his entire life in New Orleans. Jimmy chose to raise his five children in the same neighborhood where he grew up. For thirty years, Jimmy worked his way up through the ranks of the Housing Authority of Louisiana.

The house with only framing completed in late November.
Jimmy lived through previous hurricanes and did not to evacuate as Hurricane Katrina approached. As he surveyed the damage at his home after the storm passed, though, Jimmy realized that he could not stay in such a badly damaged home.

The interior of the Stroder home once
insulation was installed in early December.
He walked downtown through flooded streets. He eventually spent three days sleeping outside of the Convention Center before being evacuated to Arkansas. He then spent several years living in Texas. He traveled weekly to New Orleans to supervise construction on a home he purchased, as his first home was too damaged to be rebuilt.
Drywall was installed in mid-December.
Mudding began at the home in late December,
just a few weeks after construction began.

Jimmy worked hard to closely supervise the project, but he fell victim to contractor fraud like many others. Having spent his entire life building homes, he couldn't afford to rebuild his own.

After losing everything to crooked contractors, Jimmy turned to SBP for help rebuilding, and his home is now under construction. These photos show the progress made since construction began in late November. SBP staff and volunteers from Glover Park Group, Immaculata University, the Georgia Tech MBA program, and several other groups have worked very hard to move the construction process along quickly with funding from United Way. We're very excited that Jimmy will be able to return home soon to spend time relaxing with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren!