Saturday, January 4, 2014

Robert "Buddy" Williams

Robert Williams grew up working in the sawmills of Mississippi, and moved to New Orleans in 1940. In 1979 Robert married his sweetheart Barbara. They lived together in a double shotgun home in the 7th ward of New Orleans.  Robert, known as "Buddy," was well loved in his neighborhood. He is most known for driving his pickup truck down the road collecting all the high school boys and taking them to basketball practice. 

A month before Katrina, in July 2005, Barbara passed away. Reluctantly Robert evacuated before the storm to Lake Charles. He stayed there until 2008, when he finally returned to NOLA to start rebuilding his home.  
In 2012, when his house was nearly complete, it was once again destroyed by a house fire.  
St. Bernard project took Robert's case on. Now the house is elevated and has new siding and a new roof.  We had the opportunity to help work on the interior of the house on Thursday and Friday. Our main job was to put up drywall, but we also did a little insulation work as well. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

The French Quarter

On Wednesday the group took a day off of working on other peoples' homes, and spent the morning doing some maintenance work on the mission house where we are staying. 

Troy Winters, founder of Mustard Seed Ministries fell in love with the city of New Orleans in 2005. He came down to N.O. After Hurricane Katrina to do some work in homes that were destroyed. God put a passion in his heart at that time. So he bought a house in the Chalmette area (east of downtown New Orleans). This house is now used to host groups that want to come to New Orleans to help rebuild the city!  Our group is blessed to be staying at the house this week.  
The mission house. 

In the afternoon we had the chance to go to the Frebch Quarter near downtown New Orleans.  We got to walk around to some of the shops and streets. 

We got to eat some Po-Boys for lunch! 

We also walked down Bourbon Street, 

And we lucked out, and were downtown right during a free Imagine Dragons concert!! 

Oh, and apparently you have to park at least 3 feet from a walkway line... 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sylvester's Home

On Mondy and Tuesday my group got to work at a man named Sylvester's home. 
Sylvester's house is in New Orleans East. He had about 6-8 feet of water in his house because of the flooding of hurricane Katrina. He and his family, 12 people in all, moved up to the attic. They had to cut a hole in the roof to get out. After a few days his mom, who is disabled, got airlifted out of the house, but the rest of his family had to stay in the attic. For several days they had to ration the few cans of food they had among them. Finally they too were reacued. 
Because of the storm, he went to live with his sister in Mississippi, and lives there still today. Since then, he has been working on rebuilding his home. He hired a contractor to help him. A couple years ago the contractor told him he needed the rest of the money for the house (about $40 thousand) up front in order to complete the construction. Sylvester paid the man the $40,000 and the man left, stole his money and never finished the work. Sylvester is an olde man, with health problems. So St. Bernard Project took on his project in hopes of helping Sylvester get back to the life he had before Katrina, in his own home. 

Sylvester's home is finally in what is called the "punch stage" of rebuilding. Which means our main jobs at this site were painting, caulking and putting up trim. 

We also helped mud drywall that was unfinished, and worked a little bit on some tile. 

Oh, and word to the wise, don't eat Pringles and paint at the same time. Or, at least, don't drop a can of Pringles into your paint tray.