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Lower Ninth Ward 5 Years After Hurricane Katrina

Submitted by on August 26, 2010 – 12:09 pm

Sunday, August 29 will be the 5-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans.

The Lower Ninth Ward District was hit the hardest with most of the houses either destroyed or heavily damaged. Five years after the hurricane, recovery and success is measured one house at a time. Only 25% of the people who left after the storm have returned, and there are many overgrown lots and houses to be fixed.

There are a few bright spots in this story. Making It Right, a foundation started by Brad Pitt, has built about 50 homes with a hundred more on the way. These homes are ecofriendly and affordable, and they are only available to low or middle income people who were living in the lower ninth ward before the storm. The houses are designed to withstand future storms, are made out of sustainable, green materials,and  feature solar panels and other energy saving devices. They cost $150,000, and the Making It Right foundation helps families through the financing process. To learn more about the houses and Making It Right, go to their website here.

Another organization that is helping in the area is lowernine.org. They teach home rebuilding  and construction skills to volunteers and community residents. They are also working on a community garden to grow vegetables  on some of the vacant lots for residents of the ninth ward  as the closest store is over 3 miles away. They provide support services to the community and our dedicated to reviving the neighborhood.  To learn more or volunteer, go to  http://lowernine.org/wordpress/.

Habitat for Humanity has also been working to rebuild the area.  They have built over 2200 houses in the Gulf Coast area since Hurricane Katrina hit, and they continue to help build houses in communities affected by disasters. This is a well known organization that can always use volunteers and donations.  To find out how you can help, go to their website  Habitat for Humanity.

To see a photo essay on Hurricane Katrina 5 years later, go to The Frame at sacbee.com or click here

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