United Way and our recovery and rebuilding partners are helping families put their lives, homes and communities back together. United We Rebuild is United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Rebuilding Initiative, coordinating the return of families to safe, secure, and functional housing through partnerships with local nonprofit organizations, donors, companies, groups and government entities.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina a significant number of groups began working to help in the recovery and rebuilding process. Most non-profit rebuilding agencies were faith-based, but others were humanitarian.
What these groups had in common were that they raised funds to cover the minimal costs of construction, used volunteers to perform much of the work, and selected clients based upon need. Some had full blown case management services and elaborate verification and documentation systems, while other were built more on trust and faith. Some developed in-house capacities as licensed general contractors and licensed specialists, such as electricians and plumbers. Others contracted for these professional services.
The United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s (UWSELA) initial involvement was to support the establishment of long term recovery committees (LTRC) in each of the parishes in our service area, and to facilitate case management activities to link clients with rebuilding organizations and multiple funding sources. UWSELA also financially supported, through its allocations process, several of the rebuild organizations. This was important since UW dollars were outcomes based and could be used by the agencies to support the management and supervision of the rebuilding activities.
Our focus is to continue to work with and support the non-profit rebuilding agencies by raising funds (from targeted donors including government and foundation grants, and corporate and celebrity donations) to support rebuilding efforts in areas affected by disaster.