Non-profits start flood repairs, agencies join forces after disaster

Bill Capo talks about the move from gutting to repairing damaged properties in Baton Rouge.

NEW ORLEANS -- Fifty volunteers swarmed through the badly flooded home owned by Jesse and Linda Marcus, installing sheetrock, marking the first time non-profit agencies moved past gutting. The Vietnam Veteran who had two strokes was stunned.

"We thought we'd be living in lawn chairs, and the living room would be studs," Jesse Marcus said.

"It's tough, but we're seeing people from all over the country as you'll see here today, giving up their life to come make a difference in someone else's," said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.

"They need help, everybody needs help, and so gotta step up and do what I can," said volunteer Peggy Reily with Together Baton Rouge as she stapled insulation into place.

Nine non-profit agencies, including SBP, the former St. Bernard Project in New Orleans, are streamlining the flood recovery process, sharing expertise.

"We are training these other organizations to use the SBP model so they can do more houses, faster, for less money," explained SBP Founder Zack Rosenburg.

"As a Katrina victim, what goes through your mind as you help these folks in Baton Rouge now? Well, I mean truthfully on the way in, it was really overwhelming," said a shocked Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

The first drywall is going up. The problem is, it's only the first. There is so much more work that needs to be done, so much help needed.

"We need dollars and we need volunteers," said Rosenburg.

"We went through a lot of stuff, and a lot of people came to help us, and today through the Pay It New Orleans Fund we're distributing another $130,000, we're continuing to ask people to give of their time, give of their money, and help because this is going to be a long haul," Landrieu added.

"It's a miracle, you know, you dream and you hope, but this is a miracle," said Linda Marcus. SBP's site to sign up as a volunteer or make donations if www.sbpusa.org, and the non-profit coalition website is http://gutcheckla.com.

 

(© 2016 WWL)


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