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“What we got next?” Travers asks. It had been a long day and night as we scratched off a rather substantial list of abandoned buildings, musty underpasses and urine soaked doorways on our clipboard. We’re rubbing our tired eyes and cautiously monitoring the digital clock on...

In south Louisiana, we don’t worry too much about not having enough water. Too much water? Well that is many totally different stories for another day. But not having enough water? That thought rarely even crosses most New Orleanians’ minds… The overpasses and the oaks were...

Every day I pass the intersection of Opelousas and Newton. There’s a roof there with a hole carved out the top, shingles tossed to the side. It’s where someone was pulled from the depth of their Katrina hell sequestered in a dark attic waiting for...

I can personally verify Mr. Sullivan’s homelessness going back 13 years. When I first landed in The Crescent City I used to work at a bar on South Peters Street. It was in the Warehouse District before the area became an address or a destination; before...

Technically it’s not homeless; at least not tonight. Instead of steering our blue outreach van toward the abyss of vacant buildings and into the darkened neighborhoods of New Orleans, we head to the neon glow of the West Bank Expressway. Our guy has hollowed out...

It’s the most physically demanding, mentally challenging and exhausting kind of social work there is. While the greatest occupational hazards of a lot of my colleagues are the occasional paper cut or the draining hum of overhead florescent lighting, I managed to stab my foot...

I’ve got a headache. It all started with a conversation through the threadbare screen door of an abandoned house. A week ago myself and Clarence scampered over a chain-link fence, trail blazed through an overgrown side yard, pushed open a crumbling back door falling off the...

Two in the afternoon, 38 degrees and a blustery southern wind pushed Katy and I to play a little cleanup.  A brutal winter by New Orleans standards forced the Abandoned Building team out of our normal routine of searching dilapidated houses and into the emergency...

Last week the sleeve of Eve’s donated down jacket showed a mixture of burned feathers and melted nylon. She reeked of the kind of smoke we usually associate with good times around the campfire – only we knew it was nothing of the sort. The...

Today's blog  was written by Emily Downey, Housing Specialist for the UNITY Rebuilding Communities Shelter Plus Care Program. I see joy almost every day. Joy when I pick someone up from the Salvation Army or the street corner, joy when someone buckles their seat belt in...

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