Funding has come through for Lucinda Cannon

Thankfully due to the generosity of the United Church of Christ, the funding to finish Lucinda Cannon's house has made it's way to PNOLA. We will be starting Lucinda's house in the next 2 weeks and we couldn't be happier about it! It has been a long road for Ms Lucinda and her family.

Before Hurricane Katrina, Lucinda was living in her Zion City home with her 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren. The 8 of them evacuated to Houston with Lucinda’s sister and stayed for a year before returning to New Orleans to stay in her sister’s 2 bedroom home. The family has since become 9 with Lucinda’s daughter having another child, and continue to live together in a very cramped 2 bedroom house. Despite uncomfortable living conditions, Lucinda has resumed her active role in the community, returning to the church that she has been a member of for fifteen years and though she is retired, continuing to work part-time with Louisiana Spirit where she helped counsel other Katrina and Gustav victims.

Her home sustained significant flooding and wind damage. Lucinda didn’t have insurance at the time of Katrina, but she did receive Road Home funds, of which she spent a significant amount on renovations to the house. Unfortunately, she was a victim of contractor fraud and after spending more than $90,000 on construction costs, discovered that approximately $40,000 was fraudulent. Much of the work completed was worthless and needs to be ripped out and redone. The house is unlivable in its current state: there are no functioning bathrooms and the kitchen is in shambles. Furthermore, her house has been robbed twice.

The process to get her back into her home has been fraught with setbacks. In June 2008 to recoup some of the funds that were lost to contractor fraud, Ms. Lucinda worked with the Phoenix of New Orleans to apply for funds from the Salvation Army. After a 9 month application process she was awarded $15,000 towards the renovations, which was not enough to finish the house. PNOLA worked with her on her home from June 2010 through December 2010 until the funds were depleted, and had been searching ever since for another source of funding that would be large enough to complete the house.

As I mentioned before, we finally found that source, when we partnered with the local United Church of Christ to do the construction work on a couple of their properties and requested, in turn, that they provide the funding for Ms. Lucinda to finally be able to finish her home. With the help of UCC and the United Way of Southeast Louisiana, PNOLA will be able to move Ms. Cannon and her family back into their home.

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