[The St. Bernard Project helps rebuild the home of Ms. Sharon Rachal Taylor]
By Crystal Brotmeyer
The St Bernard project is one of the last non-profit organizations to continue re-building homes for families who suffered a major loss after Hurricane Katrina.
The non-profit organization maintains a close relationship with their clients, according to Owen Wilson, Site Supervisor of Saint Bernard Project.
“There’s this kind of infectious energy where people want to work and I think a lot of that has to do with the relationship we have with the clients. We form really close relationships with our clients. So that we’re not just building a house, we’re building a home for a specific person,” said Owen.
Ms. Sharon Rachal Taylor had her house completed in January. After the storm, her husband suffered a fatal heart attack. A few months later, Ms. Sharon fell in the families FEMA trailer and broke her hip. Eventually up to her knees in medical bills, she had to stop in the middle of her re-building process.
Since then Ms. Sharon has received support from not only the Saint Bernard Project but also from movies filming in New Orleans.
Officials from the movie 21 Jump Street donated all their furniture to her after the movie completed. Also, the cast from Days of our Lives flew to New Orleans and helped in the rebuilding process of her home.
“It’s like a dream. It’s a miracle really. You know, it’s like I won the lottery. You really don’t know,” said Ms. Sharon.
According to Owen, it’s clients like Ms. Sharon that make his job meaningful.
“You teach a kid and they’ll not remember your name the next year. But our clients invite you over for dinner even three weeks after we’re done their house. It’s a pretty awesome thing,” said Owen.
Saint Bernard Project has rebuilt more than 415 homes in the Greater New Orleans area since 2006.
They say about 10,000 families in Greater New Orleans still cannot afford to rebuild the homes that they own.