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New name, same game: Rebuilding Together New Orleans is excited to host its 31st [Re]Builder Month (previously known as October Build) in 2021!
As we shuffle our schedule to accommodate the long-awaited return of French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest in October this year (hurray for festivals!!), this annual event will take place in November 2021. The dates for [Re]Builder Month this year are Friday and Saturday November 5th and 6th, and Thursday and Friday November 11th and 12th.
Last year we hosted 30th annual October Build presented by Shell, and with the help of over 200 volunteers from 15 local teams Rebuilding Together New Orleans was able to work on 8 houses during the course of October Build!
Community revitalization is a core pillar of Rebuilding Together New Orleans’ work. No project better exemplifies those efforts than our annual [Re]Builder Month. That community effort, originally known as Christmas in October (and Christmas in April nationally), engages nearly hundreds of volunteers in a “blitz” build designed to provide eight to ten families with critical safe and healthy repairs over just a few weekends. No community understands nor exudes the community based “it takes a village” better than New Orleans. Neighbors helping neighbors, strangers helping strangers; it’s that mindset that continues to help New Orleans become a more resilient, equitable community. Rebuilding Together New Orleans listens to communities it works with to provide assistance that addresses the underlying needs of a neighborhood. Past projects also include murals, a tool library, community makerspace, community garden, women’s shelter, parks, and playgrounds.
The majority of repairs the volunteers did are focused on RTNO’s Safe at Home program that provides a variety of accessibility and safety features for homeowners living with a disability including:
- Wheelchair ramps
- Widened doorways
- Lowered thresholds between rooms
- Repairs to unstable stairways and handrails
- Installation of ADA-approved grab bars, toilets, and shower pans
From installing safe handrails and steps to exterior painting, volunteers made a lasting impact on homeowners who do not have the physical or financial ability to make critical repairs that will keep them safe and save them money on utility bills. With the growing need in our community to provide longtime homeowners with aging in place repairs, [Re]Builder Month is an incredible example of how dedicated volunteers can make a tangible difference in just one month.
Thanks to the volunteers and sponsors like Shell, Chevron, Home Depot, and more! Now elderly and disabled homeowners can sustain their independence and live in their homes longer, strengthening neighborhoods across our city. Since 1988, [Re]Builder Month teams have completed over 1,000 projects and this community revitalization event has turned into a long-standing tradition for many local groups. Thanks again to our sponsors and volunteers for making [Re]Builder Month 2020 another successful year!