TBR announces 100 living wage recovery jobs

Interested applications may apply at: togetherbr.nationbuilder.com/jobs

Jobs pay $15 per hour for house-gutting and mold-remediation, starting with highest priority families -- elderly, disabled and families with children, especially those still living in mold-infected homes

Program funded with support from BRAF, individual donors.

Donations to expand the program may be made here

A week after the Great Flood, TBR leaders were grappling with how to expand capacity to meet the daunting scale of the devastation of their community, when we got an email with a “crazy idea” from a 70-year old woman in Cape Cod named Betsy Smith, who had been directed to the organization by the local NPR affiliate.

"Rather than just donate money,” Ms. Smith wrote in her email, “I would like to donate $120 to pay an unemployed person $15/hour for an 8-hour day's work helping with the clean-up effort. This would have a multiple effect--it would supply labor for the clean-up, it would put money into the economy in the form of wages for someone who is currently unemployed, and it might encourage others to give to a specified, dedicated fund."

Ten days later, Ms. Smith's "crazy idea" is becoming a reality.


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We're facing a potential public health crisis, and we need your help to address it

This picture, sent by Louisiana Environmental Action Network, is from the home of a 79 year-old couple. Until today, they were living and sleeping in this home.
Our online sign-up list, gutcheckLA.com, has been live for one day, and so far 5% of the 288 house-gutting requests we've received report that they currently are LIVING in in homes with serious mold-infestation.
ALL of those, so far, are elderly women, most with medical issues.
If that ratio holds, it means 1600 to 2400 people, mostly elderly, are living in mold-infected homes as we speak.
That's a public health crisis. And we have to get serious, and we have to act fast, if we're going to address it.
Here's our plan. We want to hire 100 local people at $15 per hour to gut and mold-remediate 2000 homes, starting with the elderly and people living in mold-infected homes.
TBR is putting up the first $20,000 to get the ball rolling (all from your donations, by the way). 
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16 homes in one day!

TBR was out in force Saturday, with teams spread out across the metro area helping people clear and gut their homes. We worked at 16 homes in zip codes 70805, 70807, 70811, 70812, 70814 and 70815!

Sign up here to volunteer -- clearing homes, making phone calls, doing data entry.








We've created a single MASTER sign-up system online, for people who need house mucking, gutting and mold-remediation. If you fill this out, the list will the go to all the major entities doing that work. Sign up at www.gutcheckLA.com!

Recovery report: August 20th, 2016

20160827_090231.jpgWe've been getting quite a few individual donations lately, far more than ever before. We're honored by that, and we want people to know what we're doing with the resources they're entrusting to us. So here's a summary of what TBR has been doing on the recovery this last week.

#1) We have more than 1300 responses on the flood damage survey 5 days after launching it at LAfloodsurvey.com. This gives us a way to understand what is happening with people who have been displaced, especially the 95% of people who are *not* in shelters, but about which next to nothing was known prior to the survey.

#2) Last week, we called about 700 people who responded to the survey, to check in with them, see if there were any urgent mental health or other referalls and discuss people's needs. 3 goals here: a) to meet a few of those needs directly, b) to have people's lived experience inform the recovery and the policy that are coming and c) (perhaps most of all) to simply make human contact with people who are isolated and often in quite serious distress.

3) We've placed Amazon orders for 477 people for immediate needs, with about 365 or so additional requests verified and legitimated. We're funding that entirely from online donations, and it will continue if more contributions continue to come in.

4) From Thursday's calls, we realized that people's top priority was clean out homes before the mold takes over. With 18 hours of lead time, we organized our first volunteer house-gutting operation, which we called "Gut Check Saturday," which happened this morning. About 160 TBR volunteers took part, partnering with about 200 flood-damaged homeowners (with close to double that signing up online).

We formed volunteer teams, which deployed to around 40 homes. The people who didn't get volunteers today were put on a list we've sent to a non-profit entity that is contracting with professional contracting services for free gutting starting next week.

5) We've created an online list of recovery resources here. If there are other resources or info that's important and reliable that ought to be there, please let us know in the comments and we'll add it.

6) Finally, we've created a one-page Volunteer Guide for house clearing and gutting, which covers everything people need to know. That can be downloaded at here.

Thank you for your belief in what we're doing. You can donate here to allow us to do more of it.


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