Rebuilding Calcasieu

September 23, 2006
Reported by Josh Ault

Its not your typical emergency call, but one that tugs at the heart-strings of all who live in Southwest Louisiana. One year after Hurricane Rita, many residents still don't have a place to call home.

Saturday Lake Charles Police, the Calcasieu Sheriff's Office, McNeese Police, Marshals, and State Troopers came to the rescue of six lake area families.

Homeowner, Frank Thomas says, "I certainly appreciate them. I will pray for them. If there is anything I can do for them, I would love to do"

Thomas is eighty-five years old, a retired brick mason, and a father of eight children. He has been living in government housing since Hurricane Rita because of damage to his home. Saturday work began so Mr. Thomas can finally come home.

"Today (Saturday) is about getting people back into their homes that have been out of their homes since the hurricane." says Rebuilding Together, President, Sheila Matte.

The organization was formed in Calcasieu Parish in 1992. Their mission is to renovate and rehabilitate homes for low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly and those with disabilities, free of charge.

MSU Detective, Jared Lebleu says, "we were approached by the organzation to help with Candace to put out a list and everyone from McNeese did a good job and came out and helped."

Law Enforcement Agencies from across the parish joined forces in helping several families.

"I appreciated it," says homeowner Bertha Hose,  "and I love the way they are fixing it. It makes me feel good"

Not only did the residents feel happy with the results, the volunteers felt good, as well.

To date, 19 homes have been repaired, and by the end of this year thirty-two homes will be completed.