NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A resilient community looking to restore its hometown came together to help support its veterans by building a brand-new home.
Owner of Burnell’s Lower 9th Ward Market and military veteran, Burnell Colton, got together with the New Orleans Veterans Coalition and other community volunteers to build a house using two shipping containers and some ingenuity.
Colton says this method of building homes is perfect for projects like this for several reasons.
“They’re all over, so you can get these shipping containers for little to no money at all. Like I said earlier, it’s very beneficial. There are no termites. You don’t have to worry about that. A storm comes, just close the back doors,” said Project Organizer Burnell Colton.
The team was able to complete the base of the home and then will move on to the internal work like plumbing and electricity soon after. They are hoping to have the project completed and someone moved in within a month.
“I always live by the motto ‘to much is given, much is required.’ I’ve been so blessed by the city of New Orleans, so I felt the least I could do was give back my time,’ said Construction Volunteer Zach “The Builder” Harris.
Once this house is complete, the team will move on to constructing more homes in the neighborhood using the same methods.
Thomason Construction owner Bill Thomason says, “We have another one on the Westbank in a couple of weeks. There was a family that lost everything. House burned to the ground. We’ve already started that one. That will be the sister to this and then whatever we come up with next.”
As of now, Colton has not decided which veteran he will offer the home to, but he says he will make sure this house and the houses after this one will go to people who truly need the help.
“Christmas came early, and I asked them could we do this again and again and they all said yes, so we want to get some more empty lots, get some more shipping containers and will continue to build more affordable housing,” said Colton.
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