April 29, 2009
Update on hurricane recovery from South Central Conference.
Rebuilding Homes, Rebuilding Hope April 2009
At the time of this writing The Church World Service build is underway. This is a first for Church World Service and hopefully a model to be used in other areas of the country that experience large disasters. Ten partner denominations have contributed funds to rebuild twelve homes in a neighborhood in New Orleans, the Little Woods neighborhood in New Orleans east. The majority of the homes will be completed before the end of summer.
Partner in Service—Today, there are nine Partner in Service volunteers who are or have worked with the Disaster Ministry in New Orleans who are currently present in the city either working with the ministry or other church related activities!
Green Rebuilding efforts. The Disaster Ministry adds ‘green’ touches when it can during the rebuilding of homes. Each house being rebuilt in New Orleans is unique. While many are similar in design, each has its own characteristics. The older shotgun homes had little or no insulation and while when they were new were well built, age and neglect took their toll. Every home rebuilt is brought up to current electric, HVAC and plumbing codes. In many cases the home is better than it was prior to Katrina. Some of the things done in the rebuild process help a home become more ‘green.’
Insulating a house that had no insulation prior to Katrina adds great value and efficiency to the home. Caulk and expandable foam help keep heat, cold and critters where they belong. If funds allow, new windows are installed offering more protection from the elements. Most often new exterior doors are needed. Careful attention by volunteers ensures a snug and airtight fit. If new siding is put on, house wrap is put as well. Siding used is hardiboard, a cement based product that is paintable, termites don’t eat it and it offers a level of insulation that vinyl siding does not. It also looks more appealing and traditional than vinyl on any home. Instant on demand water heaters are used if funding is available. These heaters are more expensive to purchase but less expensive for the homeowner to maintain over time. Other basic inexpensive items include low flow shower heads and faucets, low flow commodes and compact fluorescent light bulbs. Homeowners are encouraged to monitor utility costs, install blinds and/or drapes to keep out summer heat
“O Lord, let your ear be attentive to your servant … Give success to your servant.” Nehemiah 1:11
135 Sauve Road
River Ridge, LA 70123