Archive for the ‘Disaster Recovery’ Category

UL team

Every year, Rebuilding Together Acadiana teams up with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette AmeriCorps members to provide critical services across Acadiana. Since the beginning of September we have already completed the construction of two wheelchair ramps as a part of our Ramps&Rails program. UL AmeriCorps members will assist us in a broad range of projects throughout their service terms, but they truly make up the back bone of our Ramps&Rails team. We look forward to being a host site for members every year, and UL members bring a fresh perspective and vitality each day they serve on our sites. Over the upcoming Fall semester, we will host seven UL AmeriCorps members.

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In April, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance volunteers from California and Missouri flew to Lafayette to assist Rebuilding Together Acadiana in the ongoing flood recovery effort. They worked on a home in Abbeville, LA for Ms. Alanda, who is affectionately referred to as Aly by friends and neighbors. Each team stayed for one week and drove every day from Lafayette to Abbeville to work on Ms. Aly’s house.

During the storm in August, a tree had fallen on the back part of Ms. Aly’s house, causing rain to fall in her home. Water quickly filled up the space underneath her house and ruined her floors. Although the interior of her house was not affected by rising water, she received enough damage by the rain to make her home uninhabitable. It wouldn’t be until June of 2017, that volunteers taking part in the Eight Days of Hope event would make it to Ms. Aly’s to finally gut the home and remove all of the hazardous materials. Unfortunately once the home was gutted, it revealed issues of delayed maintenance which would need addressing prior to rebuilding. By the end of 2017, Ms. Aly’s house had reached a point where all the walls and cabinets had been rebuilt. Only the finishing touches remained.

When Rebuilding Together Acadiana spoke with Ms. Aly in advance of the volunteers’ arrival, she was overwhelmed with joy. She could see the light at the end of the tunnel. After being displaced from her home for two years, she was ready to move back. Ms. Aly works nights and evenings caring for the elderly, trying to make ends meet. She carries fluid in her spine, which has limited her ability to do much on the home. Undeterred, however, Ms. Aly cleaned behind volunteers during her visits. She even brought her mother and niece to see the progress. Helping homeowners like Ms. Aly is a privilege and a joy for RTA and the volunteers alike. Now that she has returned home, she is excited to have a place for her grand-babies to visit again.

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