Indiana, Pennsylvania groups to build houses for evacuees,
Three houses to be built in two weeks
Work begins Sunday, Dec. 3
For release Dec. 1, 2006
More than 100 volunteers from Indiana, Pennsylvania and other states will work in Shreveport over the next two weeks to build three houses for Hurricane Katrina evacuees and local residents.
The new construction on Alston and North Allen streets in the Allendale neighborhood is part of the "Building on Higher Ground" initiative, a commitment by The Fuller Center for Housing to build 60 houses for hurricane evacuees and local residents in partnership with Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal and other groups.
Twenty houses have been built so far - 10 of those during a September blitz build - and families are moving into their new homes even as work gets underway on more houses.
Week of Dec. 3: About 50 volunteers plan to build two houses this week, one for hurricane evacuee Dwan Gales and her 5-year-old and one for Shreveporter Pam Morgan and her four children.
This team is led by Ron Fisher, who works with KB Home in Indianapolis, and most volunteers are from Indiana, with others coming from Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina. They include carpenters, builders, a cameraman, professional singer, a minister and two nurses, some of whom have helped build houses for needy families around the world. Fisher has assembled teams to work in Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, South Africa, South Korea, Philippines, Hungary and many places in the United States. "We come to make a difference in someone we have never known, but also to make a difference in ourselves by giving our time and resources," he said.
Thursday, Dec. 7: Higher Ground leader Millard Fuller, head of The Fuller Center for Housing and founder of Habitat for Humanity, will be in Shreveport to check on the progress in Allendale and to meet with local officials.
Week of Dec. 10: About 56 volunteers from outside Philadelphia, Penn., will build a home for Delores Quinn and her 31-year-old son, Christopher, who has Down Syndrome, sleep apnea and arthritis. He has had two open-heart surgeries.
The Quinn's house in Bogalusa, La., was heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina. Their new Shreveport house will be constructed by Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, Penn. - the same group that started the Higher Ground project one year ago - along with members of Paoli Presbyterian Church. Volunteers gathered in the church parking lot on Oct. 21 to assemble the wall frames for the three-bedroom house and they are being shipped to Shreveport. "Now I feel like God is showing me how much He loves me. He has people in Pennsylvania building a house for me. I thank God for all the caring people," Delores said. "This will be the first home of our own and it's just wonderful."
The new houses are going up near the two SBCR Friendship Houses in the neighborhood. The Friendship Houses serve as an anchor for this community renewal project, standing as havens of hope and support for all residents there. They offer after-school programs, service projects, family nights and many other activities to help strengthen the neighborhood.
Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal is a nonprofit effort to restore safe and healthy communities through caring relationships. Founded in 1994, SBCR reaches at-risk youth through Friendship Houses built in impoverished neighborhoods, strengthens education through the Adult Renewal Academy, partners with The Fuller Center for Housing and connects caring partners who turn their neighborhoods into safe havens of friendship and support.
Contact: David Westerfield, director of communications