FAQs

Answers:

Volunteers

How do I volunteer?

Contact our Volunteer and Information Manager, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (504) 636-3061. You will receive a response within one business day of your initial contact. After confirming dates and number of volunteers, the Volunteer Coordinator will send you a confirmation e-mail, blank waiver template and an invoice. Payment, if applicable, will be due no later three weeks prior to your first volunteer work day.

When can I volunteer? How long do I need to volunteer?

Visiting volunteer group/individual work days run Monday – Thursday 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM. and Friday 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM. A minimum of two workdays is preferred. Local builds are held one Saturday, every two months from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM. Please contact the Volunteer and Information Manager, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (504) 636-3061 for more information on dates.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

All volunteers must be 18 or older. Local volunteers who are under 18 may be considered. Please contact the Volunteer and Information Manager at (504) 636-3061 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you have any questions.

Do I need to be an expert?

No. Volunteers with all levels of experience are invited to volunteer with us. If you are experienced, please indicate so on your waiver and inform your House Captain know when you arrive on site.

May I work even though I have some physical limitations?

Yes. There are a number of tasks that do not involve strenuous labor. Please advise the Volunteer Coordinator and on-site House Captain of your limitations.

If I volunteer with a group, will we all be able to work together?

To ensure a quality experience for our volunteers we will assign no more than 10-20 people to each site. Groups larger than 10 people may be placed on two or more worksites, depending on the workscopes and the skills of the volunteers, but will be in relatively close proximity.

What goes on at the worksite?

Homes are at all stages of the construction process. We restore and revitalize houses from the floor up. Workscopes on the construction site fluctuate depending on need, weather, etc.

What does it cost?

For groups or individuals coming from outside the Greater New Orleans Area, Rebuilding Together New Orleans charges a volunteer administration fee in order to sustain the longevity of the program and serve more homeowners. This fee funds our daily projects and supports the costs of: + Building supplies + Safety equipment + Insurance + Transportation + Fuel + Staff + Other administrative costs

University/Church/Synagogue/Family/Individuals/Other Volunteer Groups $20/day/person
Corporate/Conference Volunteer Groups $100/day/person

There is no fee for local groups or individuals.

Does Rebuilding Together New Orleans provide transportation, food, and housing?

No. Visiting volunteer groups/individuals will be responsible for providing their own transportation, housing and lunch for each day, however, the Volunteer Coordinator will be available to make recommendations. You can contact the Volunteer Coordinator at (504) 636-3058 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with any questions.

Should I bring food or water?

Yes. You must bring your own lunch to the site. If your food needs to be refrigerated, please bring an ice pack and/or insulated lunch cooler, as there are no refrigerators available on site. Water will be provided on site and we also provide a RTNO water bottle for your use. For lunch in the area, a list of options can be provided by the Volunteer Coordinator or House Captain.

Should I bring my own tools?

It is not necessary to bring any tools. Everything needed for the days work will be provided.

What do I wear?

Footwear needs to be sturdy and closed-toe and closed-heel. Boots or sneakers are both considered appropriate footwear, however boots are preferable. You are not required to wear pants, but it is highly recommended. Please prepare for the weather by checking the forecast before you arrive at the work site. Bug spray will be provided on site.

What if I need to cancel my work dates?

We request that the group/individual contact the Volunteer Coordinator, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (504) 636-3058 one week prior to the start of the first work day. We are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM-5:00 PM. Since the volunteer administrative fee is allocated toward operations in preparation for your work week, there will be no refund if you are unable to participate.

What if the weather is bad?

In the case of inclement weather, we will make every effort to reassign your group. Since the Volunteer Management Fee is for administrative operations in preparation for your work week, there will be no refund if you are unable to work due to rain.

Is there any paperwork?

Yes. All volunteers will need to sign a waiver. This will be provided to before your workday. You MUST turn in a completed waiver prior to working on a home.

Homeowners

What does Rebuilding Together New Orleans do?

Rebuilding Together New Orleans, or RTNO, is a local affiliate of a national nonprofit organization – Rebuilding Together – which has restored and revitalized more than 100,000 homes over the past 19 years. With all work done at little to no cost to the homeowner and utilizing predominantly volunteer labor; Rebuilding Together allows low-income families in communities across the country to live in warmth, safety, and dignity.
We believe that by reinvesting in and restoring the existing housing stock of the city, we can bring homeowners displaced by Hurricane Katrina back to their former homes, as well as provide a model for restoring and preserving New Orleans’ historic neighborhoods.

Who is eligible for this program?

RTNO works specifically with the following groups: the elderly, disabled, single parent families, first responders, and low-income (homes in which the occupants are living at 80% AMI). To find a full list of RTNO eligibility requirements click here [link to eligibility requirements] or call [number] to speak with a Community Outreach Officer for more information.

What neighborhoods is RTNO working in?

Currently RTNO is working in the neighborhoods of St. Roch, Holy Cross, Esplanade Ridge/Treme, Broadmoor, Hollygrove, Mid-City, and Gentilly. To find out more about these neighborhoods and RTNO’s involvement in them please click here.

Do I have to be a homeowner?

Yes. RTNO is currently working only with people who owned their homes prior to August 2005 within our target neighborhoods and are planning on continuing to live in their home for a minimum of three years after completion of their RTNO rebuild.

Why is RTNO not working in my neighborhood?

RTNO is working in areas in which the neighborhood association has invited or sponsored the organization to come in and rebuild. RTNO works alongside these neighborhood associations to help them meet their needs and goals in rebuilding the area. If your neighborhood is currently outside of our bounds please contact your neighborhood association about bringing RTNO into your area.

What if my home is really badly damaged?

Unfortunately, RTNO is only able to rebuild homes that were assessed at 51% damage or less. And can only begin work on homes that were flooded if they have already been gutted. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (504) 636-3061.

What if I want to sell or rent out my home?

RTNO is working to get the people of New Orleans back into their homes and does not rebuild rental properties or homes with the intention of putting them onto the market. If you are in need of such services please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (504) 581-7032.

Do I have to belong to a certain organization or religion to receive aid from RTNO?

No. RTNO is an equal opportunity builder and does not discriminate based on ethnicity, sex, gender, religion or creed.

How long does it take RTNO to complete a home?

The time needed for every project is based on what needs to be done to the home. On average it takes several months to complete the application, funding, and build of each home RTNO completes.

What is the basic process from start to finish?

1. The homeowner, neighborhood association, or an RTNO Community Outreach Officer will find a family in need of home repairs or rebuilding services that lives in one of RTNO’s target neighborhoods and meets the eligibility requirements.
2. RTNO works with the homeowner to complete the application process, take a walkthrough the house to figure out the viability of a project and what needs to be done in a home and make sure all appropriate paperwork and building codes are pulled.
3. RTNO staff works to secure the full funding needed to repair the home from beginning to end; whether it is a thousand dollars for minor repairs and paint or tens of thousands for an intensive rebuild. This way we are able to finish your home as quickly as possible without major delays for funding or materials.
4. Contractors fully licensed with the state and approved by RTNO are brought in to complete any framing, electrical, and plumbing work that needs to be completed.
5. Volunteers from across the city, the state, and the nation come in to install the flooring, baseboards, window trim, and interior doors.
6. Final pieces are put in place with the aid of staff, volunteers, and professionals to get the water running and the toilets flushing.
7. The house is then inspected thoroughly to make sure the home is up to code.
8. The keys are turned back over to the homeowners who can come home again to a safer environment.

What does it cost me when RTNO rebuilds my home?

RTNO does not require a financial contribution from homeowners who are unable to afford it. However if a homeowner has money that was given to them to rebuild their home (Road Home, FEMA, etc.) or has savings set away for rebuilding their home we do ask that they contribute what they are able to, in order to off-set the costs. RTNO is a non-profit and does not charge for the labor of its staff.

How do I get started?

Contact us! If you need help rebuilding and believe you are eligible for the program please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (504) 636-3061.

RTNO & PRC

How is Rebuilding Together New Orleans related to the Preservation Resource Center?

The Preservation Resource Center is the local parent of Rebuilding Together New Orleans. Rebuilding Together’s office space is located in the headquarters of the PRC, which is also the site of a small museum dedicated to the history of New Orleans neighborhoods.

How is Rebuilding Together New Orleans related to Rebuilding Together National?

Rebuilding Together New Orleans is a local affiliate of Rebuilding Together National.

How do I get more information on partnering with Rebuilding Together or the PRC?

Visit the Rebuilding Together National website at: http://www.rebuildingtogether.org/
Visit the Preservation Resource Center website at: http://www.prcno.org/

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