Fordham Alumni Global Outreach trip to New Orleans - Follow up (Pt. 1)


On January 14th, I went down to New Orleans with a bunch of other Fordham alumni as part of the school's Global Outreach Program.

We stayed and did most of our work at Project Lazarus. Project Lazarus is a home for people with AIDS in New Orleans.  It was the first residential home in New Orleans to address the need for homeless people living with AIDS.  Unfortunately, none of the residents are back yet, for several reasons:

  • Project Lazarus usually puts on one of the most popular Halloween parties in New Orleans as an annual fundraiser.  Typically, they raise about $400,000.  This past year, they obviously couldn't have it.  That money is lost.
  • Like many other buildings, they need a new roof.  Total cost: $96,000.  Plus, even if they had the money, its nearly impossible to get a roofer in New Orleans right now.
  • 27 of the 30 personal care workers, the mostly minority women who attend to the residents day to day needs like feeding, changing, etc. had their homes completely destroyed. 

Over the next week or so, I'm going to be putting up some more posts about our trip and some videos that I took as well, but first I'd like to share a video about the devastation that still remains there.  While Project Lazarus was lucky enough not to be in an area heavily damaged by the flood, the areas in this video are where many of the homes of the healthcare attendents that worked there were.  I've really never seen anything like it.  Someone said during our trip, "I can't believe this is the United States."  Plus, its really eyeopening to see that its still like that, months later.

As I write these posts, should you be so inclined to help out Project Lazarus, I've added a little tip jar on the sidebar of my blog.  One thing I realized there was that the only way that NOLA gets rebuilt is one house at a time.  Most of the people I spoke to down there didn't see where all of the donations were going from these larger charities, and while I'm sure they will eventually do some good, sometimes, when you can identify an immediate need in a specific area, you can do a lot of good.

All donations will be sent to Project Lazarus to help get the house back in order and get enough funding to open their doors to the AIDS patients that either temporarily or permanently call it home.  This is especially important as at least one of the other similar residences in New Orleans will not be reopening after the hurricane.

If you'd like to give on your own, that's fine, too.  It doesn't need to go through me, of course, but I will be updating the totals each day.  I guess the nice thing about blogging is that a lot of you have been reading long enough, know me, or know enough people who know me that you have  reasonable trust that this isn't a scam.  In addition, they could use gift cards to such places as Home Depot.  They also need refrigerators, kitchenware, bedding, and furniture to replace those items destroyed by water from the roofs.   

Here's their site again.