Stories

[caption id="attachment_130" align="alignright" width="300" caption="UNITY outreach worker Clarence White searches abandoned buildings to rescue the homeless"][/caption] God bless Clarence White.   Seriously, may God bless Clarence White and I’m not even religious    If you had a chance to read his post you got about half the man’s...

We listen to stories, personal biographies, all day long.  We sit on porches, stoops, flea-infested couches, under bridges, inside cardboard boxes, next to bucket toilets, and listen.  It’s what we do.  Sometimes what we are listening to is psychotic ramblings and sometimes they are stories...

Today's post is by Clarence White, a Unity outreach case worker who is no stranger to homelessness.   Four years after the levee failures, he lives in his flooded-out house in Gentilly, a house that was inundated in water for three weeks, leaving it uninhabitable.  Four...

200 people are in the school HELP!  This is the graffiti I saw on top of a school building in a section of the 9th ward that flooded deeply. This graffiti looks little like the stylized wording of taggers, and more like the haphazard distress signs...

I’ve had some discussions about anger lately.  I am fortunate to have a lot of people in my life who care about me, and who check in with me to see how I’m doing periodically.  Often they ask how the job is affecting me –...

Dead houses come alive at night.  When the rest of the world is safely tucked into their beds, our clients begin their desperate stroll toward their nighttime dwellings.  They leave the train station or the ferry landing.  The homeless easily wear out their welcome at...

[caption id="attachment_80" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Mr. Tommy pictured in the abandoned building he called home"][/caption] Last week, Tommy went to see President Obama at his Town Hall meeting in New Orleans.  Less than 12 months ago, he was living in an un-gutted basement and was using a...

We met a woman last night, probably in her 50s, sitting on the front stoop of an abandoned building in Central City, widely considered one of the most dangerous parts of New Orleans.  We work in Central City a lot, because dangerous places tend to...

They are all but invisible: abandoned people eking out a meager existence on abandoned New Orleans property. No electricity. No running water. They are barely making it. In the darkened kitchen, the floor is littered with filthy clothing, rotting food, empty bottles and cans. Part of...

I see the orange glow of a cigarette through the blackness of an open doorway.  I realize we’re being watched long before we meet whoever it is we're looking for.  Instinctively, I shine the doorway with my flashlight and leave it on just long enough...