Working in partnership with the Lousiana Conference of the United Methodist Church and Mennonite Disaster Services (MDS), we completely rebuilt 46 houses this quarter. MDS deployed an amazing group of volunteers from Disaster Aid Ohio from January through the end of March. In the spirit of partnership, we also incorporated SWLA Responds and The Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana. We were able to reach homes throughout Calcasieu Parish including DeQuincy, Lake Charles, and Sulphur. Approximately one-half of these were major repairs and the other half were remove and replacement of the roof. This partnership was such a grand success that we'll repeat the rebuild this fall.
We're excited to announce that the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, Mennonite Disaster Services and Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders (FCDR) are partnering to rebuild 35 homes in the next three months. In addition, for a little "icing on the cake", the coalition will reroof 15 homes. In parallel, FCDR will continue its volunteer driven rebuilding effort completing another 15 homes.
You might be thinking that a year and a half after the storm and there are still homes with blue tarps. Well you're right--that is a pretty dismal admission since these tarps have definitely excited their useful life and are leaking. That means we're still getting water inside the homes and mold is growing.
We need your financial support to rebuild more homes and your volunteer labor to make it happen.
Start with the basics--foundation and sewer system
In the last 12 months, Lake Charles has been the victime of four federally declared major disasters. And, of course, we continue to operate under the COVID-19 cloud that has dramatically diminished our flow of volunteers.
Thankfully Hurricane Ida heavily damaged areas east of us, so we've been able to carry on much needed rebuilding.
Our lease is ending on our primary volunteer housing facility, but we were blessed to find a another church willing to house our volunteers. So we now have even better volunteer housing, so come on down!
And I shouldn't fail to mention that we have almost unlimited RV hook-ups available. With hurricane season sliding behind us, we have perfect weather for you!
We have been working diligently to help the families in Southwest Louisiana recovery from this past hurricane season. We are now over 6 months out since the last hurricane and there are still so many families unable to recover on their own. We have been blessed to start to see a rise in volunteer teams as more people become comfortable again during this national pandemic, but we still need your financial assistance.
As volunteers become more available we must stretch every dollar as much as possible in our attempt to help as many people as we are able. With the rise of building material cost and national shortages, we are in need of your financial support now more than ever.
If you are able, we pledge to stretch every dollar given as far as possible to help as many as we can, so please help and please give!
Southwest Louisiana is weary--two hurricanes (Laura and Delta) and a tropical storm (Beta) in one storm season. Hurricane Delta quickly revealed the tarps that were installed correctly. For those that blew off the heavy rainfall of Delta compounded the interior damage of Laura.
Few people are aware that by one measure, FEMA Individual Assistance applications, Laura exceeded the damage of two better know hurricanes--Florence in the Carolinas and Michael in Florida. Of course the damage is compounded by the necessary restrictions imposed by COVID-19. The impact on volunteers is the first thought of most but COVID also impacts commercial operations and availability of construction materials.
The good news is that most homes have had their trees removed from roofs and interiors mucked. And rebuilding has begun.
Without volunteers providing their free labor, our costs even as a nonprofit have increased significantly. We need your financial support more than ever. Please give!
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