Humane Society of Louisiana continues flood relief with benefit, disaster relief shelter

The Humane Society of Louisiana, a 501c(3) non-for-profit, has been working consistently to evacuate, rescue, care for, and aid animals and their guardians around the areas impacted by the Louisiana floods. Petcetera NOLA will host their 9th Annual “Bad to the Bone: Rescued on the Runway” fundraiser on Saturday, September 17, which will benefit the HSL and other rescue and relief organizations. Bad to the Bone is an annual Halloween fashion show with adoptable dogs from local non-profit animal rescues. The event will take place from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Eiffel Society, located at 2040 Saint Charles Ave. The event is open for pets and all ages.

Where to donate to help victims of Louisiana flooding

Several local and national organizations have put a call out to request donations and volunteers in the wake of Louisiana’s historic flooding, which has so far killed six, according to the Weather Channel, and forced rescues of 20,000 more. Here are local and national places to give monetary donations and goods. Church Alley Coffee & The Good Shop, located at 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., is collecting toiletries, shoes, socks, cleaning supplies, baby wipes, formulas, car seats, fans, contractor garbage bags, gloves, and utility knives. Junior League of New Orleans will accept donations at their headquarters, located at 4319 Carondelet St., during normal business hours of 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday. They request the following donations:

Diapers in all sizes.

Local nonprofits awarded $250,000 to foster sustainable living

Green Light New Orleans and the Urban Conservancy, two local nonprofit organizations, received a total of $250,000 in grant money from the Allianz Katrina Fund to promote sustainable living in Orleans and Jefferson Parish by implementing programs which address energy consumption, water mitigation and fresh food access. Allianz, a global financial services company, administered the grant as part of a $1 million, long-term commitment to support people and communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The grant money will be distributed among all Green Light’s initiatives which promote environmental awareness and sustainability in New Orleans. The Urban Conservancy will use their portion the grant to further efforts to remove excessive paving in neighborhoods and to reduce stormwater run-off.

Owen Courreges: Support the Dryades Public Market — after all, you’re paying for it anyway

Over at Eater New Orleans, Gwendolyn Knapp sums up the ill-fated “Jack & Jake’s” grocery project quite aptly – as a money pit. The project began in 2011, when Alembic Community Development bought the former Myrtle Banks Elementary School on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. The school, built in 1910, had closed in 2002 and was gutted by fire in 2008. The Orleans Parish School Board had already determined that it wasn’t cost-effective to preserve the building, but Alembic was determined to save the façade. Alembic sought to renovate the building with offices and a large grocery store as an “anchor.” Jack & Jake’s, a wholesale grocery company founded in 2010, was chosen to open its inaugural retail site at the location.

Owen Courreges: Creating SoDoSoPa in NOLA

A few weeks ago the animated TV show “South Park” premiered a new episode regarding an issue so close to our hearts here in New Orleans: gentrification. The plot of the episode revolved around attempts by the fictitious Colorado town for which the series is named to attract a new Whole Foods Market. This, the city reasoned, would prove the backwoods hamlet to be progressive and forward-thinking. Behind closed doors, discussions ensued where the decision was made to have the city invest public funds into a trendy, upscale neighborhood out of the bad part of town – which consisted of a single dilapidated home inhabited by the hilariously impoverished McCormick family. The planned development was dubbed SoDoSoPa, short for “South of Downtown South Park.”

To provide a fig leaf of public legitimacy to the project, a public meeting was held at the South Park Community Center.

Rebuilding Together New Orleans completes 500 homes since Hurricane Katrina

This past Friday, Oct. 9, Rebuilding Together New Orleans completed the rebuilding of its 500th home since Hurricane Katrina. Through RTNO, over 500 volunteers worked on 14 home repair projects for disabled, elderly and military veteran homeowners over the first two weekends of October. For more information, see the full press release below:
During the first two weekends of October, over 500 volunteers from 32 local teams will work on 14 home repair projects for low-income homeowners through Rebuilding Together New Orleans’ 25th annual October Build presented by Chevron. This year, volunteers will be assisting 17 elderly or disabled homeowners, including five military veteran homeowners.

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus: A rising tide can only lift the people in the boat

For many New Orleanians life has never been the same since Hurricane Katrina destroyed their homes, their neighborhoods, their schools, and their sense of community. Katrina was an experience they do not want to relive on this or any other anniversary. For them, the grief process is ongoing. African Americans especially feel the rules were stacked against them, making their recovery even harder. What do we remember most about Katrina?

Jean-Paul Villere: Now and then — one Katrina returnee’s retrospective

The big exhale of 10 years has arrived as New Orleanians near and far reflect on the 2005 storm season that changed us all.  Personally, my experiences before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina pale in comparison to many others.  My journey to now may best be summed up from the wisdom of my stepfather who told me simply to “ride the horse in the direction it’s going.”  Not an easy thing to do when the unknown awaited, especially in the immediate aftermath of the devastatingly unexpected. Peculiar moments as I navigated what life had thrown in my general direction: wearing someone else’s clothes donated to me and my family, driving a spare car my stepfather happened to have, working my old job in the city I lived in years beforehand.  Effectively I was recast in someone else’s life, one that unsurprisingly didn’t quite fit. Those weeks after Katrina, once my wife and I elected to return to our sunken city we anticipated the challenging path that awaited, but who could have predicted the New Orleans we know now?  I submit to you: no one.  Below are 10 observations, mindful of this journey:

10) Waterlines remain.  You can always replace roofs and refrigerators, but it’s a world of difference when seeking to rekindle a neighborhood or revive one’s livelihood.  We are still recovering, and there are still ample reminders of crested water in embedded lines the city over. We should use an active voice when we discuss recovery and 10 years gone.  We must possess the present and convey the work is far from over. 9) Fatigue is real.  In short, one tires.  And that’s okay.  Or as my father-in-law is also known to espouse: all you can do is all you can do.

Owen Courreges: Stop saying New Orleans is ‘better’ after the disasters of Hurricane Katrina

We’re coming up on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, in case you’ve been locked in a closet for the past few weeks and have thus been spared the maudlin, self-indulgent navel-gazing of every commentator that comes down the pike. For some, Katrina was an opportunity seized. The guiding narrative is that of a city in decline that took advantage of adversity and emerged stronger. It’s a characterization of Katrina that’s equal parts appalling and inaccurate. We are not in a better position as entire swaths of neighborhoods lay in ruin and our population is greatly reduced.

Mural exhibit in Central City will commemorate 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

The Creative Alliance of New Orleans and Alembic Community Development will be opening a new exhibition titled “The People’s Murals,” at the Myrtle Banks Building in Central City Saturday, August 15 to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. “The People’s Murals,” is a massive exhibition of murals worked on by hundreds of community members, and the opening event will include featured artists and citizens who worked on the murals, as well as light refreshments and food. The show will open at 6 p.m. at the 3rd floor Creative Space at the Myrtle Banks Building in Central City, located on 1307 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. “The People’s Murals,” will continue to be on view weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through August and September and for special events on weekends.