By: admin On: December 4, 2008 In: Rural Recovery Response

SMHA’s Executive Director, Lorna Bourg, accepts from and admires painting by Paul Schexnayder, local artist who contributed to the three year Rural Recovery report.

The work of artist Paul Schexnayder is helping spread a message of hope and determination. Six original works by Schexnayder are incorporated into the layout and design of Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc.’s “Rural Recovery Response: A Work in Progress.” The in-depth report describes the successful work of SMHA in the years since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

SMHA was established in Louisiana long before the storms. Created in 1969, the not-for-profit is dedicated to building healthy, prosperous rural communities in Louisiana.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita – as well as Gustav and Ike – added urgency to SMHA’s mission.

Since 2005, SMHA has helped restore and/or rebuild 983 homes and businesses through its Rural Recovery Response. New homes, elevated and built to withstand hurricane-force winds, were left undamaged by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

“We have entered a decade of determination,” says Executive Director Lorna Bourg. “Out of the chaos came the conviction that Louisiana can be rebuilt better than before.”

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