Select Page

8 Amazing Lives Impacted By The Qatar Katrina Fund

Hurricane Katrina was one of the most devastating, deadly, and costly disasters in American history. The Category 5 tropical cyclone slammed into the Gulf coast on August 29, 2005, ravaging vast swaths of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. A few hours later, the levees protecting New Orleans broke and 80 percent of the historic city was flooded. At least 1,800 people canadian goose jacket died and more than a million others left their homes, leading to the largest mass migration in American history.

On the other side of the world, Sheikh Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar, watched the tragedy unfold on television. Two weeks later, his government created the Qatar Katrina Fund, pledging $100 million to 18 renewal projects. Ten years after the storm, New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are still recovering. Here are the inspiring stories of just eight of the thousands of people impacted by Qatar’s extraordinary gift.

Calvin Johnson comes from a family of New Orleans musicians. His grandmother played gospel piano, his father, grandfather and three uncles were all jazz musicians. At age seven, one of his uncles gave him a saxophone and lessons. He played that saxophone on stage at the famous Tipitina nightclub at the age of 12 alongside Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews.

It was registration week at the University of New Orleans when Katrina hit. Johnson had not yet canada goose coats on sale attended classes, but had moved half his stuff into his new dorm room, leaving the other half in his parent’s house. The storm flooded their home with over 12 feet of water, destroying everything including Canada Goose online his saxophone. His dorm was not flooded but looted. “They broke into everything and took what they could,” he recalls.

Doubly homeless, Johnson became a nomad, traveling across the country from place to place. When he returned home, he found it nearly impossible buy canada goose jacket to find affordable housing.

Then he heard about Habitat for Humanity, a charity that was building homes in New Orleans East in a development called “Musicians Village” to house displaced performers. The six block Village, now complete and home to 80 some local performers and their families including Johnson was canada goose clearance sale largely funded by a $4 million gift from the Qatar Katrina Canada Goose Online Fund.

In total, the Fund donated $25.2 million to support Habitat For Humanity projects throughout the Gulf region.

When the storm struck, Rosa Bustamante Forest had to leave New Orleans. Her home was not badly damaged, but like thousands of others she soon Canada Goose Parka found herself commuting to Baton Rouge for work. “All any of us wanted to do was Canada Goose Jackets come home,” she says. Then she heard about a new program looking for staff.

Rosa left her teaching post at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center to become a nurse and program manager with the March of Dimes.

The program, funded through a grant from the Qatar Katrina Fund, provided mobile medical units offering free prenatal and postpartum care to cheap canada goose uk any mother and baby who came to their doors. Funds from Qatar enabled March of Dimes to buy three units and also covered all the operational costs, salaries, gas, supplies, and any medical costs not paid for by the patient’s insurance. If the patient had no insurance and many didn’t a clinic and money from the grant paid the costs.

“The program was essential at that point,” Bustamante Forest said. “I also got to meet the [then] Amir of Qatar!” she added uk canada goose outlet excitedly, remembering when His Highness visited the city in April 2008. When the Amir asked canada goose uk outlet one of the patients about her experience, she explained that she only spoke Spanish and hadn’t known where to go for prenatal care canada goose black friday sale because none of the regular clinics had interpreters, which scared her (and is medically dangerous). “They were so excited. She explained how grateful she was for the help she got during her pregnancy.”

“It was really moving,” Bustamante Forest recalled. “The unit became a safe, cozy place for women to congregate and tell their stories.”

Stacy Horn Koch was running Covenant House, a shelter for kids 16 to canada goose uk shop 21, when Katrina hit. She immediately turned it into a community hub providing aid, canada goose clinics, and any form of assistance. The center is located right beside the Trem/Lafitte neighborhood in New Orleans.

Trem/Lafitte is embedded with 300 years of New Orleans culture and heritage, a neighborhood where music like jazz and brass band evolved and took form. The area is a core part of the Canada Goose Coats On Sale New Orleans’ soul. But as Koch puts it, “hurricanes are equal opportunity destroyers” and Trem was no exception.

With more than half of the homes in Trem destroyed after Katrina hit, people felt like they had no place to come back to. This is when people like Koch and the Trem/Lafitte Renewal Project stepped in.

With a $2.5 million donation from the Qatar Katrina Fund, the project provided hundreds of low income homeowners with grants averaging around $24,000 to help rebuild and repair their homes. The project also gave free home ownership training and counseling to the people of the community and helped make Trem healthy once again.

“In the end, we made a significant difference in several hundred people’s lives,” Koch said. “This is my community, and they [the Qataris] supported us. To make it healthy we needed people to come home. canada goose clearance To this day, I think what they did was extraordinary.”

Reverend Willie Gable a pastor in downtown New Orleans, who also runs a number of charitable causes was one of canada goose factory sale many whose Canada Goose online lives were forever changed by Hurricane Katrina. His church, his home, and three buildings operated by his organizations were all battered by the storm.

Gable runs the Dr. Murphy W. McCaleb Education Fund, one of canada goose uk black friday 63 agencies that make up UNITY, a New Orleans collaborative that provides housing for chronically homeless people and those who struggle with substance or alcohol abuse. With the fund’s buildings damaged and evacuated, these people had nowhere to go.

A $2 million grant from the Qatar Katrina Fund allowed Gable and the fund to renovate and rebuild, and even construct a brand new 43 unit building. UNITY’s motto is “Bringing New Orleans Home” through dedicated people like Reverend Gable and the Qatar Katrina Fund, UNITY was able to do canada goose coats just that.

In 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama challenged 570 cities across the US to commit to housing all veterans living on their streets by end of 2015. Just nine years after Katrina, New Orleans was declared the first city to end veteran homelessness. That’s a heady achievement for a city with sky high poverty and unemployment rates, let alone one that lost hundreds of thousands of homes because of the hurricane.

Gary Marchand, CEO and president of Memorial Hospital of Gulfport, Mississippi, was on duty when Katrina struck. He would spend the following two weeks at Memorial, unable to see his wife and family.

Following the storm, Memorial became a community shelter for southern Mississippi, providing food, water, nursing services and pharmaceuticals to everyone and anyone who walked cheap Canada Goose through their doors.

The hospital transformed some of its wings into dormitories, providing bedding for volunteers and staff. Hundreds of buy canada goose jacket cheap hospital employees lost their homes in Katrina. Many worked and lived at Memorial for weeks or even months afterward. Gary referred to these long hard days as a time where “everyone had compassion for everyone else the humanity rose in people”.

Thinking about the gift from Qatar, Marchand says, “I’m starting to get goose bumps again.”

Many in the community were in need of medical services, and many could not afford Canada Goose sale them. The Qatar Katrina Fund worked with Memorial to establish the $10.8 million Qatar Hope Fund. The fund enabled Memorial to directly aid thousands of uninsured patients affected by the hurricane, and turn Memorial into a level II trauma center and Mississippi’s first primary stroke center.

“The Qatari’s are interwoven into our success,” says Marchand. “We’ve advanced medicine canada goose store in the state Canada Goose Outlet of Mississippi over the last 10 years, and Qatar is part of that story.”

Dr. Norman Francis had been president of Xavier University for 47 years when he retired this summer. A native of Louisiana, he is no stranger to hurricanes and had never fled his home for one before Katrina. It would be no different this time.

Dr. Francis stayed in New Orleans and uk canada goose watched as both his home and his university were badly flooded. He immediately started working on getting Xavier back on track, somehow managing to reopen the university on January 17, 2006.