(New Orleans, LA │August 11, 2014) The first time she could go onto her own front porch in two years, Vivian Jack felt free. She had been confined to one room within her Algiers home after multiple sclerosis necessitated a foot amputation, leaving her in a wheelchair that could not fit through the doors of her home. She has lived in her home with her husband Ernest, a WWII army veteran, for more than 40 years. They raised their five children there, and they wanted to age in place, which is why they applied to Rebuilding Together New Orleans, a Preservation Resource Center program.
When the Jacks applied to Rebuilding Together New Orleans, they had an unsafe wheelchair ramp, failing front and back porches, and no accessible bathroom for Mrs. Jack. With funding from the Pratt-Stanton Manor Fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation, along with volunteers from Team Depot and LSUHC Occupational Therapy Department, Rebuilding Together New Orleans renovated the Jacks’ home, allowing them to age in place thanks to a new front porch, safe back steps and porch, a new wheelchair ramp, safe electrical outlets and a wheelchair accessible shower with grab bars.
“These repairs have vastly improved their lives and allowed them to safely age in place,” said Jon Skvarka, director of Rebuilding Together New Orleans. “We are so thankful for the funding from the Pratt-Stanton Manor Fund, which enabled us to make a tangible difference for these elderly homeowners.”
Throughout its existence, Pratt-Stanton Manor, a nonprofit assisted living facility for older adults in New Orleans, worked hard to create and maintain a happy and healthy living environment for older adults and developed programs that helped them enjoy this most important phase of life. When it closed its doors in 2008, proceeds from the sale of the building helped to create the Pratt-Stanton Manor endowed fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. Today, earnings from the endowed fund allow for a grantmaking program to help support nonprofit organizations like Rebuilding Together New Orleans working tirelessly in our community to help seniors with such basic needs as food, housing, and daily activities.
“This is a good example of how the Greater New Orleans Foundation works,” explains Albert Ruesga, president and CEO. “We can help a donor repurpose a private asset to address a pressing public need.”
The Greater New Orleans Foundation is proud to announce the following grants that will be given as part of the 2014 Pratt-Stanton Manor Fund grantmaking, totaling $132,000:
Jefferson Council on Aging – $20,000
Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans – $20,000
Kingsley House – $20,000
Lakeview Shepherd Center – $10,000
Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans – $15,000
New Orleans Council on Aging – $15,000
Rebuilding Together New Orleans – $12,000
Shared Housing of New Orleans – $10,000
Youth Rebuilding New Orleans – $10,000