United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) has granted $100,000 to Bayou Community Foundation’s “Rebuild Grand Isle” project, working to repair and rebuild homes for 40 Grand Isle families in need whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed when Hurricane Ida made landfall here on August 29, 2021.
“We’re proud to partner with the Bayou Community Foundation to help Grand Isle families with limited resources rebuild their homes as a part of our commitment to ensuring an equitable recovery throughout the parishes we serve,” said Michael Williamson, UWSELA President & CEO. “Grand Isle is a beloved gathering place for generations of Louisianans, and the Rebuild Grand Isle project will help revitalize this special community.”
“Bayou Community Foundation is grateful to United Way for partnering with us to Rebuild Grand Isle, giving hope and help to families on the island who have nowhere else to turn,” said Executive Director Jennifer Armand.
In addition to this contribution from United Way, Bayou Community Foundation’s Rebuild Grand Isle efforts are supported by a $500,000 contribution from Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, grants from The Peltier Foundation and William C. Schumacher Family Foundation, and gifts from many other generous donors to the Foundation’s Bayou Recovery Fund.
“Grand Isle is a vital coastal community and families who have lived and worked here for generations are critical to this island’s recovery. Thanks to the generosity of our compassionate donors, the partnership of Our Lady of the Isle Catholic Church, and the hands and hearts of our amazing volunteer rebuilding teams, Rebuild Grand Isle is giving residents in need a safe home again and helping to renew this precious island community,” Armand said.
Donations for Rebuild Grand Isle fund building materials for approved home repairs, with repair work donated by the generous disaster rebuilding volunteers from NOMADS Mission Volunteers, Mennonite Disaster Service, Community Aid Relief Effort (CARE), and Hand of Hope Ministries of Omaha.
Since the first volunteers arrived on the island in October, they have repaired eight homes and are working on six. Additionally, Rebuild Grand Isle is currently building three new homes for families who suffered catastrophic losses during Hurricane Ida.
There are more than 30 households awaiting help from Rebuild Grand Isle, and continued funding for building materials and continued assistance from volunteer rebuilding groups will help all these families get back home.
“While we are making great progress, a tremendous need remains and Bayou Community Foundation is aggressively working to attract additional volunteer building teams to the island later this year to fill that need,” said Armand. “Continued support from donors who care about Grand Isle as much as we do will help us expand the housing recovery program and bring even more families home.”