WHO: Rebuilding Together New Orleans
WHEN & WHERE: 10:00 A.M., Tuesday June 10th; 3215-17 General Taylor
WHAT: Rebuilding Together New Orleans (RTNO) – a local non-profit organization that utilizes volunteer labor to rebuild the homes of low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners – is set to complete the rehabilitation of its 100th home since Katrina this Tuesday, June 10th at 10:00 A.M. This important milestone marks the culmination of a two year effort to revitalize and expand RTNO capacity to account for and help alleviate the devastation Katrina caused across New Orleans.
Following Katrina, RTNO – with a staff size of 2 and an annual budget of just over $800,000 – began an intensive effort to expand its capacity. Included in this drive was an aggressive effort to increase corporate sponsorship along with the utilization of AmeriCorps members both in the field as “house captains” leading groups of volunteers and in the office helping to expand organizational capacity. As a result, RTNO now has a staff of 28 (including AmeriCorps) and an annual budget of just over $2.8 million; which has allowed it to utilize the help of over 4,700 volunteers providing over 145,000 hours of labor at a market value worth $2.5 million.
The 100th home completed will be that of Ms. Evelina Rodriguez, a lovely 81 year-old widow and Broadmoor resident who could not be more deserving of assistance from RTNO. Ms. Rodriguez, a former private duty nurse, raised four neighborhood children as her own at the request of their dying mother, all of whom she is close with to this day. Unfortunately since Katrina, Ms. Rodriguez, like so many other New Orleans residents, has been forced to suffer considerably–both as a result of her diabetes and the contractor fraud which robbed her of the only assistance she received.
As Kristin Gisleson-Palmer, Executive Director of RTNO puts it, “We are so proud to have Ms. Rodriguez’s home as our 100th rebuilt since Katrina. Her story personifies the kind of generosity and resilience our homeowners are known for. We plan to return many homeowners like Ms. Rodriguez back in to their home in the coming years; with help from our many corporate sponsors, our partner organizations, and the thousands of volunteers from around the country who are making this city whole again, one family at a time.”
CONTACT: Camille Lopez, Rebuilding Together, 504-388-0214, Lynn Long, L2 Media & Marketing, 504-669-0576