Another Perspective: Reflections from Monday, May 24, 2010
Today we learned a lot more than just about the function of the Saint Bernard Project and its home owners. We were faced with ethical dilemmas, questions about the government, and the “real story” behind some incidents that have occurred in New Orleans.
We attended our first professional development interview and were inspired by the clinician’s remarkable work to help those who are in the grieving process. The cultural differences between human service professionals in the South as compared to those in the North were striking. While we’ve been fortunate to have never lived through a Katrina-like catastrophe in our own neighborhoods, we tried to understand this experience of grief and loss, and to use this understanding as we move forward in our lives and careers.
A few of us stayed at the Saint Bernard Project (SBP) headquarters and talked with several AmeriCorps workers as well as employees of SBP. While there, we learned that SBP received plots originally slated for another non-profit organization, but re-allocated to SBP when government officials learned of the original organization’s corruption. This has allowed SBP to start to extend their work into the Lower Ninth Ward.
In our nightly meeting, the hot topic was confusion about why the Make it Right houses are being built for $150,000 when the same amount of money could help SBP rebuild 8 homes. While many questions remain unanswered, we are eager to explore the answers and develop solutions.