Habitat for Humanity

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In the fall of 2005, after the devastation in New Orleans from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Upper River Services (URS) assisted in rebuilding New Orleans by providing a staging area for containers of homes built in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.  URS President Lee Nelson said, “We essentially provided a staging area for the containers and then assisted in loading the barges in preparation for their trip to New Orleans.  The barges were passed on to one of our partners for their trip south.  We were pleased to be a part of this project in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity.” 

Source: www.seaportspr.com

NEW ORLEANS (Dec. 2, 2005) - After traveling down the Mississippi River from St. Paul, Minn., barges carrying core materials for Habitat for Humanity homes arrived in New Orleans. The barges carried pre-framed panels for houses and building supplies to help families displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The barges began their journeys on Oct. 24 from St. Paul, bearing four houses framed in Minneapolis. The barges also made stops in the historic river ports of St. Louis, Memphis and Baton Rouge, where local volunteers constructed and loaded additional house frames and building supplies. The barges made their final stop in New Orleans and were unloaded Friday morning at the Port's Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal.

"Habitat for Humanity has received so much support for this project and we want to thank everyone involved in helping to bring additional homes to the New Orleans area," said Chris Clarke, senior vice president of Communications for Habitat for Humanity International. "With the help of volunteers, these materials will become houses, which will also become a place to call home for families in need who have been displaced by the hurricanes."

Materials for a total of 20 houses were barged down the river, with materials for four homes being offloaded in Baton Rouge last week and materials for 16 offloaded today in New Orleans.

Building the panels and shipping the materials down the Mississippi River was made possible by Ingram Marine Group, TECO Energy, P&O Ports, Port of New Orleans, Federal Express, Dow Chemical, Citigroup, Whirlpool, NBC News "Today" show, Twin Cities Habitat, Habitat St. Louis, Habitat of Greater Memphis and Habitat of Greater Baton Rouge.

"I want to thank all of the volunteers and Habitat for Humanity for making this possible," said Felicia Claude, a mother of two from Slidell, who is the recipient of a Habitat home. "Now we will again have a home to call our own."

"The Port of New Orleans is elated to participate in such a wonderful cause," said Gary LaGrange, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans. "Housing is a vital element to the recovery of the Greater New Orleans area and we are proud to play a role in this humanitarian effort."