Monday, November 30, 2009

Guest Writer: Survivors Village Builds New Community Center to Continue Struggle

Below, an update written by our friends at Survivors Village, near the former St Bernard Development:

One of the major goals of Survivors Village is to fight for the right to return for every resident who lived in public housing before the government-caused disaster forced them to be displaced around the country. The birthplace of both Survivors Village and the post-Katrina public housing struggle was the St Bernard community. Currently the developers of the "new St Bernard" are building cheap, high density/higher profit apartments and creating al types of obstacles to prevent former residents from ever being able to return.

In order to begin to fight what we know will be a protracted struggle, we are building a base to organize from inside the community. The former New Day Community Center which previously was the heart of service to the St Bernard neighborhood will be renamed the Fight Back Center and will serve as a base to fight for people's return.

Thanks to donations of time and money by many members and supporters, the process of rehabbing the center has begun moving forward. During workdays in August and September, the yard around the center was cleared. This past week, we took another huge (and expensive) step forward with the removal of the debris that resulted from a building collapse caused by a hired contractor. We can now begin the work of making the standing building functional and reopening the center.

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