Celebrating a homecoming in New Orleans

There were no parades when more than 300,000 people displaced by Hurricane Katrina returned to New Orleans. Yet this week, a brass band and 150 people lead the way for Gloria Mouton to open the door on her newly-rebuilt home.

Related hi-res photos available at www.churchworldservice.org/hires

Benny Jones of New Orleans
Benny Jones of New Orleans' Treme Brass Band led a short parade to Gloria Mouton's newly repaired home. Church World Service and ten denominational partners organized a volunteer effort that rebuilt or repaired 12 homes in the Little Woods neighborhood of New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward in the past month.  Photo: Matt Hackworth/CWS

NEW ORLEANS--There were no parades when more than 300,000 people displaced by Hurricane Katrina returned to New Orleans. Yet this week, a brass band and 150 people lead the way for Gloria Mouton to open the door on her newly-rebuilt home.

"It’s a beautiful thing to know that these people in the world will give from their busy schedules to help someone like me," Mouton said. "It just sends a warm feeling in my body every time I walk into this house and see the progress they made."

Mouton’s home represented more than a dozen homes Church World Service helped rebuild in the New Orleans East community of Little Woods. A celebration, complete with a local brass band, capped the first-of-its-kind project.

CWS brought together 10 of its partner agencies in disaster response to focus on rehabilitating homes in a single neighborhood. The local long-term recovery group Crescent Alliance Recovery Effort helped the agencies decide on Little Woods, a community removed from media attention and where many other aid groups had done little work.

In all, more than 500 volunteers from 27 U.S. states and Canada came to New Orleans to help rebuild the homes. Crescent Alliance Recovery Effort selected homeowners in need who would be part of the project.

CWS Executive Director and CEO, the Rev. John L. McCullough led leaders from the community and the participating CWS partner agencies in christening the project this week.

"This isn’t just 12 homes, it’s 12 homes in just four weeks repaired," McCullough said. "It shows how much we can accomplish as people of faith when we work together."

Media Contact:
Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2676, lcrosson@churchworldservice.org
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526, jdragin@gis.net


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