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Homeless Still Find Shelter In Buildings Ravaged By Katrina

When Hurricane Katrina burst through the levees in New Orleans 10 years ago, floodwaters instantly rendered thousands of homes uninhabitable.

At the peak of the housing crisis that followed, nearly 12,000 New Orleans residents were homeless. They lived on the streets and in ruined buildings.

Abbott Roland was one of them. After the storm, he was rescued by helicopter from his porch, slept in the Superdome with other flood victims and then moved for a time to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

When he came back to New Orleans, Roland lived an abandoned building for six years before an organization called Unity of Greater New Orleans helped him find an apartment earlier this month.

Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins speaks with Abbott Roland and Martha Kegel, executive director of Unity of Greater New Orleans.

Guest

  • Abbott Roland, New Orleans resident who lived in an abandoned building for years after Hurricane Katrina.
  • Martha Kegel, executive director of Unity of Greater New Orleans, a group that works to find housing for the homeless.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Abbott Elliot holds up the keys to his new apartment in New Orleans, as Martha Kegel of Unity of Greater New Orleans looks on, August 20, 2015. (Ellis Lucia)
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Abbott Elliot holds up the keys to his new apartment in New Orleans, as Martha Kegel of Unity of Greater New Orleans looks on, August 20, 2015. (Ellis Lucia)
Abbott Roland signs the lease on his new apartment, August 20, 2015. (Ellis Lucia)
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Abbott Roland signs the lease on his new apartment, August 20, 2015. (Ellis Lucia)