Community Center of St Bernard
Welcome to the Community Center of St Bernard! If you aren’t familiar with Louisiana geography, St Bernard Parish is part of the greater New Orleans area. We’re 5 miles east of the heart of New Orleans, just 15 minutes by car from the French Quarter, and we share a boundary with the Ninth Ward.
The effects of Katrina on this once-thriving parish have been devastating and long-lasting. As you know, the hurricane struck on August 29, 2005. When the levees collapsed, flood waters came pouring into every neighborhood in the Parish. Within hours the entire area was submerged. In many cases homes and businesses were covered up to the rooftops. One hundred and eighty people in the Parish drowned.
And it only got worse. The floodwaters pouring into the local Murphy Oil USA, Inc facility caused the largest domestic residential oil spill in US history. More than 1 million gallons of oil floated on the water and spread into homes, businesses and schools, leaving them filthy, smelly and contaminated. And then on September 24, 2005 Hurricane Rita arrived, sending more water spilling over the collapsed levees and flooding St Bernard Parish again.
The result? Nearly 100% of homes and businesses have incurred severe damage if not out-and-out destruction.
Recovery from this unprecedented destruction will be a slow and painful process. Even nearly 4 years after the storms, mail delivery in St Bernard Parish is only at about half of pre-Katrina levels. For comparison, next door in New Orleans mail delivery is already at 75%, while Jefferson Parish is at 98%. There are still no hospitals in the Parish, and no permanent offices for Food Stamps, Medicaid, or other federal assistance programs.
In short, since that late August day in 2005 the people of St Bernard have had a real and ongoing need for things most people in this country take for granted: laundry facilities, phones, internet access, and accurate information about the recovery plans, procedures and resources that directly affect them. In April 2006 more than 1500 local residents signed a Petition of Support calling for the creation of a permanent facility in their own Parish where these needs could be met, and in July 2006 the Parish Council overwhelmingly passed a resolution of full support.
Plans moved quickly forward due to the generosity of the Andrew Jackson Masonic Lodge No 428 who made Old Hickory Hall building available and the hardworking volunteers who cleaned out the flood debris and refurbished the building. Thanks to this outpouring of community support, the CCSTB was able to open the doors at its permanent facility on January 31, 2007.
Since then we’ve been proud to provide a place for residents to gather, eat, share, and find the help they need to rebuild their homes, their community and their lives. We hope that you will support us as the recovery effort continues its slow and tortuous pace, and we thank you wholeheartedly for your generosity and assistance.
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All requests are subject to official validation.
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