The Bayou Community Foundation is expanding “Rebuild South Lafourche,” the Foundation’s successful Hurricane Ida housing recovery program in southern Lafourche Parish, committing $2 million build up to 20 new homes and repair more than 30 for Hurricane Ida survivors in Larose, Cut Off, Galliano and Golden Meadow.
“Two years after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Lafourche Parish, hundreds of vulnerable, under-resourced families are still living in severely damaged and unsafe homes or in FEMA trailers where their homes stood before Ida, with little hope for recovery,” said Bayou Community Foundation President Henry Lafont, Jr. “Through the incredible support of our compassionate donors and project partners, and the generosity and craftsmanship of our volunteer building partners, Bayou Community Foundation is pleased to invest up to $2 million for Rebuild South Lafourche, to build and repair even more houses for families in need this season, and continue to help rebuild our precious coastal community.”
“These projects undertaken by the Bayou Community Foundation are not only going to give our residents safe permanent housing but also add to the resiliency of our community against future storms. We cannot thank BCF for taking on Lafourche as part of their rebuilding process,” said Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson.
Beginning in October, Amish volunteers from Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Storm Aid will arrive in Larose to begin building and repairing storm-damaged homes through May 2024. In January, additional volunteers from the Amish organization CARE will return to South Lafourche to resume home repairs as well. CARE repaired 30 homes through Rebuild South Lafourche in spring 2023.
With gifts from donors, Bayou Community Foundation funds the purchase of all building materials for these Rebuild South Lafourche projects. Construction labor is provided free of charge by the Amish building groups, and local volunteers donate their time to accept applications and walk homeowners through the eligibility process.
Funding partners include Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, the Ray & Kay Eckstein Charitable Trust, the Mary and Al Danos Foundation, Shell, and many more individual donors to BCF’s Bayou Recovery Fund. Project partners also include Bless Your Heart Nonprofit and other organizations that are contributing supplies, appliances and household item. Corporate partner Danos is contributing a critical program resource – housing for 40 MDS Storm Aid volunteers a week who will be working here through May.
“Danos is proud to partner with BCF through the Rebuild South Lafourche program. With many still struggling from the damage of Hurricane Ida, we are humbled to have the opportunity to solve big challenges for a community that means so much to our company and our employees,” said Mark Danos, CEO Of Danos Family Investments.
Housing recovery has been a critical Bayou Community Foundation effort since Hurricane Ida made landfall here on August 29, 2021, with the Foundation investing $4 million to date from donations to its Bayou Recovery Fund to support home repair and construction for 400 households most impacted by the storm in Terrebonne Parish, Lafourche Parish and Grand Isle over the past two years.
In the Terrebonne Parish Community of Dulac, the Foundation and MDS Storm Aid partnered to build 24 new homes and repair over 250 for hurricane survivors from January 2022 – June 2023. The success of the Dulac program helped launch Rebuild Grand Isle in October 2022, with three new homes built and 20 homes repaired in that first building season, and volunteers return to the island in October to continue that work. From January – May 2023, Bayou Community Foundation funded building supplies for CARE volunteers who repaired 30 homes during the first season of Rebuild South Lafourche.
Through a Hurricane Ida recovery donation from Shell, the Foundation has also funded a grant to establish a Rebuilding Together Bayou chapter and grants for building supplies to Rebuilding Together and other local nonprofits which have completed repairs of nearly 100 homes for under-resourced residents in the area to date.
“Shell is proud of the work that BCF continues to do not just to help the people of the Bayou recover from Ida, but to greatly improve the resiliency of residents in most need to future storms through investments in the Rebuild South Lafourche and foundation of the Rebuilding Together Bayou chapter. Taken together, these investments are a significant step in the long-term recovery of this vital region that we call home,” said Colette Hirstius, Shell’s Senior Vice President of Gulf of Mexico.
“The tremendous power of philanthropy and volunteers makes these effective housing recovery projects possible. Together, we are building a more compassionate and resilient coastal community with each family that we bring home,” said Jennifer Armand, Bayou Community Foundation Executive Director. “We thank all of our donors, project partners and generous volunteers for giving help and hope to our people who have lost so much, and we continue to seek donations for Rebuild South Lafourche and Rebuild Grand Isle so we can help as many families as possible while our volunteers are with us this year.”
To donate to Rebuild South Lafourche or submit an application for home repair or new build, visit www.RebuildSouthLafourche.org, email email@example.com or call Bayou Community Foundation at 985-219-0046. Donations to support Rebuild Grand Isle can be made at www.RebuildGrandIsle.com.