South Central Conference Disaster Ministry - New Orleans

January 29, 2008

Taking a break

You can help!

Pray – Please pray for this ministry, the people we serve, the volunteers who arrive each week to work and the city of New Orleans.

Work trips – As rebuilding continues, skilled people and groups are needed any time of the year.  Don't forget, everyone can do something.

One person in Eight (1-8) should be able to lead a crew and be skilled in home rehabilitation and rebuilding.  Skills needed from amateur to professional all general home rehabilitation trades.  These skills are absolutely necessary in order to rebuild a home to quality standards, like it was our own!  To register go to:

Gift Cards - to Home Depot or Lowe's are used for supplies and equipment as needed.  We also allow crew leaders of volunteer groups to use these for small purchases as they work.

Donate Funds – Donations of funds are payable to: "South Central Conference Disaster Ministry Fund" and sent to the address below.


New Year, New Challenges


Blue sky, shaded work area, meditative painting

Everyone celebrates the turning of the calendar year in one way or another.  People reflect on the past year and look ahead with hope to the coming year with new challenges and opportunities.  The future is always uncertain.  People project, plan and hope for life to be better.

Disaster recovery efforts in New Orleans do the same as everyone else.  Each organization here is looking back over the last twelve months and planning for the upcoming twelve months with the same hope and excitement. 

The three full time staff people (Alan, Tim and Sarah) combined with Partners in Service volunteers working in New Orleans have made a tremendous difference in the ability to handle the rebuild cases that come through this office.  If one is able to project what this office will do in the next calendar year it is simple.  We will continue to do the work and ministry we have been tasked, and do it better and more efficiently.  The task now is the rebuilding of peoples homes.  Each home takes a tremendous amount of work in order for it to be rebuilt.  Of course a plan of work needs to be developed.   


by Sarah Puckett


We took love to a hard place-

Of walls alive with mold

Blue tarp hats on bald roofs

Siding stained gold by flood water

Mounds of shattered brick and wood

Silent foundations

Deserted neighborhoods


We took love to a hard place-

Where white FEMA trailers

The size of school buses

Are quick fix shelters

Where there are no ruby slippers

To click together three times

Send magically home


We took love to a hard place-

The home of the ‘Blues’

Where trumpets scream, trombones sigh

Saxophones mourn

Drums beat a quickened pulse

Bases pluck your heart strings

Where your soul weeps

We took love to a hard place-

We painted love on walls

Spackled it into holes and cracks

Cut its angles to fit in corners

Pounded it up in sheetrock

Pieced shapes of love together

We took love to a hard place-

Sandra’s house

Ingrid’s home.

Sarah Puckett volunteered from

University Congregational Church in Seattle WA

New Year, New Challenges (continued)

What will it take to get a house back to its pre-Katrina condition?  One aspect of that process is to use the computer software purchased to come up with a material cost for the rebuild project. Another aspect of the project is to have the sub contractors come in and estimate what needs to be done.  This would include, plumbing, electrical and HVAC.  A third step is to determine with the homeowner how the rebuild will be funded.  Does the homeowner have enough funds to cover the cost of material, sub-contractors?  Or will additional donated funds need to be accessed?  If additional funding is needed, it involves a bit lengthier process.  Funding typically comes from the Red Cross, Salvation Army or United Way.  Those are the three major funding agencies for rebuild projects. 

Once all that work has been done rebuilding may begin.    It may take from 6-8 months for a project to be complete.  One of the factors in the rebuild project is the differing labor force that comes to work each week.  Because there are such a wide variety of skills present each week, there are several projects that may be worked on any given week.


Speaking engagements - Rev. Alan Coe, Minister for Disaster Recovery is available to speak at churches, association and conference meetings about the work of the South Central Conference Disaster Ministry of the United Church of Christ.  To invite Rev. Coe or schedule speaking engagements please contact him at: or by phone at 830-832-2222.


South Central Conference Disaster Ministry Office is located at:
Little Farms UCC, 135 Sauve Rd.

River Ridge, LA 70123.  Phone: 504-258-7306 

Rev. Alan Coe, Minister for Disaster Recovery


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