UMCOR Bright Spots
IN TODAY'S ISSUE
April 12, 2007
Uptown Station Helps Miss Dorothy Rebuild in Upper Ninth Ward
Miss Jane Tells Volunteer Team to 'Move That Bus!'
This Week's Quote
Gulfside Assembly...(Slide Show)
UPTOWN STATION HELPS MISS DOROTHY REBUILD IN UPPER NINTH WARD
By Susan J. Meister, Gulf Coast Communications
New Orleans resident Miss Dorothy did not hesitate one moment when she learned that Hurricane Katrina was on its way to the Gulf Coast. In 1965, when Hurricane Betsy wreaked havoc on her neighborhood, she spent time on the roof of her home when the water rose. Three days later, her daughter was born. "I knew not to be here," she asserted.
Miss Dorothy proudly opens the door to her home, being rebuilt with the help of volunteers and the Uptown Station.
Hurricane Betsy slammed into New Orleans on the evening of Sept 9, 1965. 110 mph winds and power failures were reported in New Orleans. Betsy also drove a storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain, just north of New Orleans, and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet. Levees for the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet along Florida Avenue in the Lower Ninth Ward and on both sides of the Industrial Canal were overtopped and failed. The flood water reached the eaves of houses in some places and over some one story roofs in the Lower Ninth Ward.
After Betsy, Miss Dorothy decided she didn't need or want a four bedroom house. So, while her sisters moved back to larger houses in the Lower Ninth Ward, Miss Dorothy found a home in the Upper Ninth Ward. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina and the resultant levee breach and flooding did such damage to her sisters' two homes that they needed to bulldoze the homes, unable to rebuild. Miss Dorothy's home took on three feet of water, and, with the help of the Uptown Station, Louisiana United Methodist Disaster Recovery Ministry, she is starting to rebuild.
My case manager is my 'leanin' stick'
"(Case manager) Joseph (Taylor) is my 'leanin' stick,'" she said. Without him, the volunteers and the Salvation Army, Miss Dorothy would still be "wandering around." Volunteer teams have helped with gutting, roof repair, electrical repair and sheet rock. Salvation Army grants helped with cabinets, plumbing and flooring.
"Mr. Joseph called me back. His help seemed to happen overnight after all my struggle," she continued. "And he is impatient, especially when we call the Road Home office." The Road Home is a collection of housing programs designed to help residents of Louisiana affected by Hurricane Katrina or Rita get back into their homes.
Miss Dorothy has strong ties to her neighborhood in the Upper Ninth Ward. During a tour of the streets around her home, she told numerous stories about various families. Three families are already back in the neighborhood, and one family let her use electricity from their home when she needed it. "I knew everyone," she said, "including the children."
Miss Dorothy has been struggling with some health issues, including a slight heart attack. But she still volunteers as much as she can. She was in her normal volunteer spot just three days after her last hospital visit.
The Uptown and other stations of the Louisiana United Methodist Disaster Recovery Ministry are helping families rebuild after the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. To volunteer or for more information, contact the Louisiana United Methodist Disaster Recovery Ministry.
For more on the United Methodist recovery work visit these web sites:
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)
UM News Service
Alabama-West Florida Conference