Archive for the ‘Homeowner Stories’ Category


In August of 2016, Theresa and Donald Stone were affected by the heavy rain and historic flooding. After their daughter’s house flooded that Friday, their house began to take on water, leaving them with nowhere to turn. Outside, the water was at least fourteen inches high. Mr. Donald placed a pump in the living room and got it down to about two inches by the Sunday afternoon. He cleaned the house and continued to attempt to get the water out for a series of five days by himself, all the while living in the house. For the next two weeks, Mr. Donald had to gut the house in order to prevent the spread and growth of mold. He took great pains to make sure his wife, who suffers from chronic pulmonary disease and lives on an oxygen machine, would not be harmed by the contaminants in the air. ReStore Louisiana showed up with the application for Donald and Theresa to have their house repaired, but after nine months of paperwork, interviews, and a plethora of supervisors with seemingly nothing getting done, Mr. Donald began to lose hope. He called his case manager with UpBring Disaster Response to let them know he wanted to continue on to get his house fixed up even if it took him ten years. That following Monday, representatives from Rebuilding Together Acadiana and the Acadiana Long Term Recovery network showed up to notify him the house would be repaired.

Throughout the repair process, Mrs. Theresa had been living with their daughter since her COPD prevented her from being in the home with all of the dust and debris created by the work. Mr. Donald watched the progression of their house and would sneak in after the volunteers had left to take photos to show Mrs. Theresa. Rebuilding Together Acadiana partnered with volunteers from the Order of Malta and the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to complete the repairs, and Mr. Donald enjoyed having the opportunity to meet people from all over the U.S. and Acadiana who had given their time to help out people in need. He expressed how grateful he was, exclaiming that “some women even took the time to clean out my wife’s flower beds!” His heart was overwhelmed with the kindness of everyone who helped them to get their home back, and said his wife prayed for everyone who walked through the door to lend a helping hand.


At the end of the two week journey, Mr. Donald expressed his excitement for his wife to come home and knows she will be filled with joy knowing she can stay in their home of thirteen years once again.


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I don’t know what I would have done without y’all. I am so blessed to have you here, and y’all will be blessed, too. This will come back to you. It might not be now, it might not be when you expect it, but this will come back around to you.

-Mr. Joseph, an Annual Rebuilding Day project recipient, addressing our group of UL volunteers. They repainted the entire exterior of his home, replaced the carport roof, fixed some rotten siding, and replaced the living room floor.


I’m gonna miss having y’all around! It was so nice to have everybody here in the house, helping me and keeping me company. I’ll never forget you.

-Ms. Alice, a homeowner in Duson. We tore up old moldy carpet and replaced it with vinyl and did a lot of HVAC work (thanks to Lee’s AC for lending us their skilled labor).

I’ve been needing these repairs for some time now. It’s a blessing to have y’all come here and fix my roof.

-Ms. Madeline of New Iberia, who received a new roof during our Alternative Spring Break week. She then proceeded to cook the volunteers delicious homemade fried chicken and veggies!

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Happy New Year to all! Apologies for the lack of posts, but we’ve been up to our necks in projects.

First and foremost, our Texas Street house is finished! At the end of October we had a successful ribbon-cutting day. Some enthusiastic and helpful volunteers from Lafayette High came by in the wee hours of the morning on a Saturday to clean up all the sawdust and generally prettify the interior of the house. They also planted some beautiful flowers and trees in the front yard. By the time they were through, the house looked immaculate and we cut the ribbon!

This ribbon-cutting signified a partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together Acadiana, which will promote revitalization and teamwork in the McComb-Veazey neighborhood. We’re so excited to begin some great projects! Of course, the highlight of the day was the delicious spread of sandwiches and treats from McAllister’s. Big thanks to them for our sustenance. Another BIG thanks to  Al and Mike, for trekking down from the far-off lands of Missouri to help out in a monster way. We love you guys!

Later in the beginning of November, our amazing UL AmeriCorps members completed a weatherization project, in which we made several homes in Lafayette more energy-efficient and insulated for the upcoming colder months. No draftiness for these homeowners, that’s for sure. The crew spent the entire day caulking, sealing, changing lights, weatherstripping doors, planting trees, and much more. Our homeowners were happy, our volunteers did a great job, and the places looked great. Success all around!


Last, but most definitely not least, we had a big Heroes at Home Project throughout the month of December. We picked a veteran in Crowley, Mr. James, who needed a bunch of repairs to his home after several hurricanes blew through and damaged part of the structure. With volunteers new and old, we provided Mr. James with new wall paneling, several rooms worth of new ceiling, an energy-efficient toilet, new exterior and interior doors, and much more. Mr. James was the epitome of a gentleman, cooking us great southern lunches, and contributing his considerable construction knowledge. It was a great experience for all involved. Big thanks to Sears for sponsoring this immensely successful project for a most deserving homeowner!

Heroes Banner

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At the end of 2011, Rebuilding Together Acadiana had the pleasure of meeting and assisting Mr. Henry Harmon, a recipient of our Heroes at Home program services. Henry is a Vietnam War veteran who grew up in Acadiana, but left to live in California for some time. Many years later, he came back to find his house in total disarray. Squatters had moved in and stripped the house of valuables, taking pipes, doors, and his possessions. When we arrived, the bathroom floor had holes, the cabinets were falling apart, doors had no locks and his house was open to the elements.

Every day at site, Henry would greet us from his couch in the front room where he slept, the only room that was really inhabitable. Over the course of several weeks, Rebuilding Together Acadiana repaired his bathroom and plumbing, provided painting for most of the interior and all the exterior, repaired the doors, put in new windows, ran new electrical, and installed new cabinets, a refrigerator, microwave, and stove, transforming the house completely. During that time, Henry would constantly thank us, telling us how blessed he was. Often times, when we would be working late, he would insist that we leave to enjoy our evenings, saying “I’ll make it. I’ll get by”. This was in spite of his lack of running water due to inadequate plumbing. Perhaps the most touching sentiments were his feelings about how his late parents would react. He would say that they were looking down and smiling at us from heaven. Henry Harmon is one of the most humble, gracious, caring, and considerate men we’ve ever met. While he continually expressed how blessed he felt, we were perhaps even more fortunate to be able to serve him.


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Last week, AmeriCorps members, alumni, and partners across the country marked the fifth annual AmeriCorps week by performing service projects, hosting community events, and engaging government officials and community leaders to support community service and spotlight the role AmeriCorps plays in addressing  America’s most pressing social needs. (more…)

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No one could ever say that Cleveland and Corine JohnBaptist didn’t deserve our help. The elderly couple has lived in Crowley their entire lives, over 60 years for each, and before they retired they both worked for A.S.S.I.S.T. Agency, a Community Action non-profit that provides services for improving the lot of families living in poverty. (more…)

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Howard Broussard lives in the likewise named city of Broussard, Louisiana. Now retired, he formerly worked for Southern Structures LLC, making building materials, and spent seven years as a volunteer boxing coach. When we met him for the first time, he told us that things have been hard for him  since his wife died, but that he keeps going so he can (more…)

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