While staying in the French Quarter for a wedding, we took a side trip to the Lower 9th Ward to check out the Make it Right Foundation homes. From the Make it Right website:
More than 4,000 homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Two years later, when actor Brad Pitt toured the city, the neighborhood was still deserted and devastated. Pitt promised the families he met there, that he would help make it right. He founded Make It Right to build 150 affordable, green storm resistant homes for families living in the Lower 9th Ward when the storm hit.
In addition to helping 150 families come home, Make It Right is helping to rebuild the community – complete with native landscaping, micro-farms, rain gardens and even building new streets.
As part of the initiative to build green, clean, sustainable and flood resistant homes, the Make it Right Foundation invited acclaimed local, national and international architects to design the houses. Residents were then able to select the design that best suited their needs.
The neighborhood is still a work in progress. Empty lots stand next to newly built homes with solar panels. Sidewalks end abruptly. Roads peter out. But there’s a core of about 60+ homes that have been built so far. And there were a lot of families and children out and about when we visited, including this group – with this young puppy named Rosé. What a sweetheart! It was hard to take her picture because she wanted to run up and lick my face. But I managed to snap a few before she tackled me.
It was fun to meet some of the local residents — especially because I had been walking around and taking pictures of their homes . . . It’s funny how puppies are the ultimate icebreaker.