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Life Arts    H3'ed 11/22/08

The Voice of the Wetlands Festival, Part 5: Brad Pitt and the Color Pink

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All Congregations Together (A.C.T)

Common Ground ReliefHoly Cross Neighborhood AssociationNew Life Intracoastal Community Development CorporationLower 9th Ward ACORN

Lower 9th Ward Health Clinic

Lower 9th Ward Neighborhood Council, Inc.

Lower 9th Ward Neighborhood Empowerment Network Association (NENA) 

Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED)

Lower Ninth Ward Homeowners Association (source)

 

Finally, it must be emphasized, Lower Ninth Ward residents would be able to apply to buy these houses at affordable rates, with plenty of assistance every step of the way, from 1st orientation and application assistance, followed by detailed counseling about the project, even home design selection, to financial counseling and support, pre-construction workshops and updates on construction progress, to support networks even after the family has moved in, plus training on how to use energy saving features of their house.

 

By March of this year, Brad Pitt and MIR were ready to roll, and on March 16, 2008, the initial ground-breaking ceremony took place in the Ward to the sounds of a brass band and with the notable assistance of none other than ex-president Bill Clinton: 

Former President Clinton and Brad Pitt met with hundreds of volunteers in the Lower 9th Ward at the site where a foundation headed by Pitt plans to begin building affordable homes for Hurricane Katrina victims. 

 

"We hope to see a huge change here in the next six months," Pitt told a group of residents as he posed for pictures Sunday and signed autographs.

The 44-year-old actor and Clinton walked a street as hundreds of volunteers on either side, wielding shovels and rakes, prepared the land for homes. For hours, they cleared overgrown grass and weeds that were covering street drains and sidewalks. (source) 

(source)

The Latest on Construction

When I revisited the Lower Ninth on October 10th and 12th, what I saw were the initial six houses of the project nearing completion, five houses on Tennessee Street and one on Deslonde. When I talked to Tom Pepper of Common Ground Relief right across the street from the MIR construction on Deslonde Street, he stated that they would be breaking ground on another 12 to 15 houses soon, so they may already have done so as I write. The latest progress will eventually be reported on Make It Right's website, which you can access at http://www.makeitrightnola.org/ . This is a fascinating website with multiple links that let you get into the nuts and bolts of the entire project in all its facets, full of photos, 3-D renditions and video links, and an easy way to donate money if you are moved to do so. Underwrite the house if you're a Hollywood mogul loaded with cash, or just adopt an oak tree, the landscaping, a refrigerator, ceiling fan, toilet, showerhead, the environmentally friendly paint, or just give straight cash; anything is accepted. 

Below is a photo I took of one of the almost completed homes on Tennessee Street: 

(photo by Mac McKinney)

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I am a student of history, religion, exoteric and esoteric, the Humanities in general and a tempered advocate for the ultimate manifestation of peace, justice and the unity of humankind through self-realization and mutual respect, although I am not (more...)
 
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