Editor’s Note: We don’t need to try and “remember” Katrina because the aftermath is still with us–from the trauma that impacts the growing youth to the displaced populations who never got to make it back home. In honor of the people who banned together in help, who clung to their lives and their home, and who post mark their lives as ‘pre-Katrina’ and ‘post-Katrina,’ we are publishing oral histories from the people who lived through the storm and who want to tell their “Katrina story” in their own words.
In this interview Abby Goodman speaks with Connie Uddo, director of the St. Paul’s Homecoming Center. They discuss Uddo’s journey since Katrina — from being a tennis instructor and stay at home mom to the executive director of a non-profit.
Uddo details her mission in disaster recovery by providing a community based one-stop shop for returned survivors of Katrina. Those who could come back needed help and assistance, without having to go on a scavenger hunt through bureaucratic government agencies. Uddo and her organization help with exactly that.
Uddo and Goodman also discuss the center’s move from Lakeview to Gentilly, and their transition from disaster recovery to senior support nine years after Katrina.
[Editor’s Note: This reflection was captured as part of an English class taught by Gaurav Desai to document memories of Hurricane Katrina]