Liz is the co-founder of the St.Bernard Project, a non-profit that helps Katrina survivors return to their homes. After Liz and her boyfriend Zack Rosenburg volunteered in the aftermath of Katrina, they knew more had to be done. They left their home behind in Washington and permanently relocated to the St. Bernard Parish, an area hit severely by the Hurricane, with all 67,000 residents losing their homes.
Both knew nothing about construction but were determined to fund-raise and organize support to help rebuild the parish. Their key focus was to help those hardest hit, i.e. families with children and senior citizens, but their aid has gone far beyond that. Over the course of 8 to 12 weeks they are able to build an inhabitable home for just $12,000. Two years since the project started they were able to bring back just under half of all the residents that lost their homes – a staggering achievement considering the overwhelming odds.
To date, 15,000 volunteers and 5,000 donors have contributed to the re-building through the St. Bernard Project. The project has been recognized on numerous occasions and include the following: The Manhattan Institute’s Award for Social Entrepreneurship, the Friends of New Orleans Hero of the Storm Award, and CNN Hero of the Year.
The St. Bernard Project believes that housing is a human right and that their work should affect all the members of the community without regard to race, creed, gender, age, religious affiliation, sexual orientation or physical ability.