11.17.2010

PNOLA Update from The Boss!

We have gone through a lot of changes here at PNOLA over the years and sometimes I sit back and wonder how we got here! It all started with just a group of people who cared about our neighbors and wanted to do what we could to help them come back home. We still have that, but so much more...we will help more than 40 families come back home this year, bringing out total to nearly 130 homes rebuilt. By the end of this year, we will have saved our homeowners more than $4,000,000 in construction costs, an insurmountable figure for families who have worked hard to come back home with the little they had. Not bad for a scrappy group of 7 under the age of 32! So, how did we get here?

GC License

PNOLA is the only non-profit rebuild agency that provides both volunteer assistance and has it's own general contractor license. That's right, we're legit and we have been for about a year. Not only do we care about moving people back home, but we hope that their homes can retain the value that they worked so hard to earn over the past several years or generations! We know that the quality of our work stands up with even the best of for-profits because we have very skilled site managers and volunteer leaders staying on top of quality control.

United Way Support and Homeowner Assistance Grants

Our partnership with the United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area is still going strong. We are supported with an operation grant through their Safety Net Program and we are entering our 4th year of this partnership. More recently, we have teamed up with the United Way to secure more than $1,000,000 in funding for construction costs for homeowners who have fallen through the cracks. This is enough to move 21 families back home and establish at least 12 more affordable rental units on top of that. As you know, we are also now teaming up with Roman Harper and Darren Sharper of the New Orleans Saints, through our partnership with UW, to rebuild homes for two families who have been on our list for far too long.

Awesome Staff

A big shout out to our returning staff Denise, Greg, and Chris. Turnover has always been a big problem here since we have to re-teach what we do to new staff pretty much every year. This year, these three have stuck around despite the meager stipend that barely keeps them fed which has been a major boost to our momentum. We also have welcomed three new staff, Grace, Will, and Jen, each who bring prior experience in rounding out our squad. We also want to extend thanks to all of our previous AmeriCorps members who helped get us here: there are too many to name! The introduction of our 5th AmeriCorps*NCCC team, River 7, has been a big help too, and we hope to continue this partnership as it has pretty much doubled the amount of volunteer hours we can deliver to homeowners in need.

I will continue to post monthly updates on how we are doing and where we are going. Please stop by again!

P.S., all I want for my birthday on Dec. 4th is for you to help us buy a new truck. As you know, the F-150 is done for good, and we really need the wheels to support our volunteers and our team. Please visit here to help: https://app.givingimpact.com/initiate_donation/8eeb5bc717

2 comments:

John Rienzo said...

With these impressive stats it's insane PNOLA is not widely recognized as it so deserves, get that media campaign going!

Jimbeaux said...

It all starts with step 1!