Building Up, Tearing Down
When you think about going to help in hurricane recovery, you somehow get images of Jimmy Carter and Habitat for Humanity...of people rebuilding homes, raising new house frames into place. But before the skeleton of a new home can be built, you have to face the ravaged bones of a place where a family once lived.
Today we worked in the home of a family from Matt Russo's parish: Bob and Deidre. They are one of the countless families who have decided to pick up their lives in New Orleans right where they were interrupted. Before they can renovate their home, though, they have to tear away everything that was damaged by the floodwaters. We pulled down the crown molding from the ceilings, a sign of a fully decorated home turned into a marker of the extent of the damage. We began to tear at the walls. They were so waterlogged and moldy that some of them peeled away.
It certainly looks and feels like we're pulling a house apart, but we know that we're helping people put their lives back together.