Today marks the first day of NOAHH's 5th Anniversary Build-a-Thon, an event in which NOAHH will bring together nearly a thousand volunteers over the course of five days in order to dry-in five homes for the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Things got started this morning with a wall raising ceremony for each of the five homes--all located in New Orleans' 7th Ward. The homes, on Frenchmen and Touro Streets, are sponsored by Marriott, the Karen B. Yoh Foundation, the National Association of Realtors, and the Fund for Humanity. Marriott has sponsored 1710 and 1711 Frenchmen, the Karen B. Yoh Foundation has sponsored 1734 Frenchmen, the National Association of Realtors sponsored 1742 Frenchmen, and the home at 1728 Touro is sponsored by the Fund for Humanity.
Volunteers, sponsor representatives, staff, and partner families worked side by side on the homes. Homeowners spoke with volunteers about their experiences with the Habitat program, and at lunch, Chip Wilson and Jesse Moore, two homeowners from NOAHH's Musicians' Village, performed for the volunteers.
NOAHH has been building homes in the New Orleans area since 1983, but ever since Hurricane Katrina, with the outpouring of support from around the world, NOAHH has increased its output exponentially. The affiliate has built or started over 300 homes since the storm, as compared to 101 before. This Build-a-Thon commemorates the tragedy of the storm and the levee failures, celebrates the progress we've made since the storm, and acts as the start of the next five years of fighting poverty housing in the New Orleans area.