The longevity of Rebuilding Together speaks to both the need and success that it has in improving the lives of New Orleanians. For the elderly and disabled living in unsuitable conditions or with relatives because their homes are uninhabitable, this program helps not only put people back in their homes but also makes them beautiful and sustainable.
In addition to making cosmetic changes like stuccoing and painting interiors and exteriors, volunteers build fences for security and privacy, widen doors for wheelchair access, build handicapped ramps, install railings in bathrooms, and assist with making other renovations needed for a safe and happy family home.
Through a partnership with the Preservation Resource Center’s Rebuilding Together program and Shell, JLNO has been renovating houses for low-income homeowners since 1989. The project started as “Christmas in October” and has gone from a two-day event to four days over two weekends. It was renamed in 2007, two years after Hurricane Katrina, and the 2013 Rebuilding Together event expanded from two to four houses. The 2014 Rebuilding Together project focused on Eden House, and we celebrated the program’s 25th anniversary in 2015.