Over two months have past since the destruction unleashed by Hurricane Katrina devestated the lives of thousands in Gulf Region, and ever since the Common Ground Collective has been on the ground with food, supplies, and fostering hope for those struggling to return to their homes.
During the Thanksgiving week, the Common Ground Collective organized The Roadtrip for Relief, and asked for volunteers to come to New Orleans with their skills, supplies and support to the communities of The Big Easy.
The week was dedicated to helping restore housing to those who lost most everything in the 9th Ward, an area neglected by federal, state and local officials. During the roadtrip, hundred of volunteers from all over the country came to "return, restore and rebuild," the 9th Ward community.
In the 9th Ward, Common Ground volunteers cleaned out 30 homes, made 5 roof repairs, gutted and cleaned a community center, started a women's center and created a mutli-media center, including a free internet lab made out of salvaged machines. In Houma, a largely indigenous community southwest of New Orleans, volunteers helped to create a new community distribution center, power washed a cemetery, gutted houses, cleaned up trash and debris, and provided outreach with a mobile distribution unit to the local community.
During the week, Common Ground Collective also hosted Playback Theatre Group of New York, a group of improv actors that performed for the volunteers as well as residents of New Orleans. Visiting volunteers also completed a 22 minute documentary, "Solidarity Not Charity," about the state of New Orleans and the work of Common Ground Collective.
Stay tuned to New Orleans Indymedia for updates on the Common Ground Collective, future Roadtrips for Relief, and other organizations providing disaster relief.
Links: Common Ground Collective | New Orleans, Two Reports | The Peoples’ Relief Caravan: journal #2