What are you most looking forward to when the October Build repairs on your home are complete?
“When the house is done, it’s all gravy. I’ll be good.” – Vernell Foster

Vernell Foster has been living in his St. Roch home for more than two decades, and he grew up right around the corner in the 9th Ward. He has one son and one grandchild who live in the city, and while his neighborhood has continuously changed, he’s proud to say that he’s been very close to his neighbors since purchasing the home. Most days you can find them swapping stories beneath the shade trees in the neutral ground.

Aside from doing yard work for one of his neighbors for the last 20 years, Foster has been doing side construction jobs since he retired to help pay his bills. A few years ago he took out a loan to make critical repairs to his home, but has been unable to finish them and continues to work to repay the loan. His home on Franklin Ave. needs exterior weatherization through new siding and paint to lower his utility bills. Finishing the security fence he started will protect his home and prevent his three dogs Savage, Bird, and Lady from escaping into the busy street.

Foster says “when the house is done, it’s all gravy. I’ll be good.” He loves fishing, but has been unable to catch a break as he struggles to finish the repairs he started and keep up with expenses on his fixed income. When Rebuilding Together New Orleans (a program of the Preservation Resource Center that provides critical home repairs to homeowners in need) completes these repairs, he’ll be able to spend more time by the river, and finally make the most out of his retirement.


October Build is a program of Rebuilding Together New Orleans and the Preservation Resource Center that organizes volunteers to provide critical home repairs to New Orleans homeowners who do not have the physical or financial ability to do so on their own. These home repairs provided at no cost allow longtime New Orleans homeowners to sustain their independence and continue living safely and healthily in their homes. Since 1988, October Build has repaired nearly 1,600 houses for low-income elderly disabled and veteran homeowners. October Build 2018 is presented by Chevron.