I have had the opportunity to speak with a few of the homeowners at the Fifty for Five event here in New Orleans. Most of the video needs a lot of editing which simply isn’t going to happen until I am back in Philly, but one home owner was brief enough for me to share a rough, unedited cut of her thoughts.
Sheila Hyde lost everything in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Her house was almost completely under water and by the time she returned it was covered in filth, black mold and pieces of her destroyed possessions. She managed to do a significant amount of the repair work, but eventually funds ran out and the work couldn’t finish. Rebuilding Together stepped in and helped her finish the recovery of her home, and this weekend, as part of the 50 home event, they are putting the finishing touches on by building a fence.
Sheila is an amazingly kind and extremely grateful woman. In addition to this interview we went through pictures of her destroyed home and toured the repaired one. She was very proud of her place and was excited about the prospects for her neighborhood and New Orleans as a whole. She even invited me to stay with her next time I was in New Orleans, and I could tell she actually meant it.
I want to thank Sheila for speaking with me and for her offer of hospitality which I will likely be too self-conscious to accept. There are some issues I have with these homes and the method in which they are delivered, but I don’t have it in me to bring it up after that video. It is difficult to be critical in the face of her happiness and hope, but don’t worry . . . I will manage some critique in the next post.
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