What a week can bring.
A week can bring a hurricane or help.
It can bring a TV crew and a hefty check to a local food pantry. It can bring approvals for FEMA assistance and trailers to temporarily live in.
It can bring buses of evacuees home for the first time in weeks, which means some people are just now wrapping their heads around the bewildering road ahead of them.
National outlets have covered the plight of southwest Louisiana after back-to-back hurricanes — from the New York Times to The Washington Post to Good Morning America. Each outlet brings a new personal loss into focus, new images of destruction that are the same but also different.
Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter pled, in an interview with NPR, for America to not forget about Lake Charles.
The sad truth is, America is overwhelmed. In between juggling work or the lack of, virtual school or pandemic anxiety, remembering our southern neighbors can easily slide off the radar of our day-to-day mental load.
It is often in these harshest moments that our efforts, even the smallest, can shine the brightest for those who feel forgotten and overwhelmed with the recovery road ahead of them. National disasters, says our co-founder Zack Rosenburg, are when we often see the best of our humanity.
We see it over and over in our work.
Last week we finished up a mold remediation project at Ms. Alana’s home, first impacted by Hurricane Laura. It’s the beginning of a longer process, yes, but it paves the way for all the efforts that come after.
Let’s make sure southwestern Louisiana isn’t forgotten, so that eventually, Alana will be able to make coffee at her kitchen counter again, to serve her family and friends their favorite meal around her table, to sit on her front porch and wave to her neighborhood where each home is coming back together slowly but surely because we all worked together.
Here’s what we’re currently doing and how you can join us in helping individuals and families rebuild their homes.
- We’re on the ground helping survivors apply for FEMA assistance for damages from both Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta — COVID-19 has made the process even more complicated.
- We’re supporting homeowners with appeals when needed and teaching them how to advocate for themselves.
- We’re hosting weekly webinars on navigating FEMA, SBA and insurance processes, and distributing resources and guides in person.
- You can give.
- You can volunteer. Things will be different with COVID, but increasing our list of resources in this area will help.