Meet the Washington Family
BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE WITH HABITAT
August 31, 2005 is seared into the memories of all Hurricane Katrina survivors, and Edward Washington, Sr. is no exception. When it became clear that basic services and utilities in his neighborhood had been destroyed, he fled New Orleans with his family in early September 2005. The Washingtons headed west in search of gas and food, even spending the night outside a gas station until the clerks showed up to take their FEMA cards. Somehow, they made it to College Station and lived in a two-bedroom apartment for three months with his daughter’s family, which included five kids! Needless to say, they didn’t sleep much.
A few months later, Mr. Washington Sr. went back to New Orleans West Bank to survey what was left of their home. The situation was bad for everyone, not just the Washington family. Many people abandoned the city because their homes would cost almost three times as much to replace them and it just wasn’t worth it. According to Edward, today New Orleans is “a great place… to be from.”
Edward and his son Edward Jr. have been living in Bryan/College Station ever since, and it’s great because they get to be near family. Four of Edward’s six daughters live in town, so he is able to see his grandkids all the time. Unfortunately, soaring rent prices force the Washington family, like so many families in our community, to live in an unsafe neighborhood, filled with crime and drugs. Edward and his son agree that safety is most important for their new home, and not living in a flood zone! They’re looking forward to cooking Cajun-style food, having grandkids over, but most importantly Edward Sr. is “excited to start a new life” in a decent and sturdy home.
If you feel passionate about helping our community by providing decent, affordable housing to your neighbor, then get involved! Come volunteer and see what the Habitat homeownership program is all about.