St. Charles family living in tents since Ida receive trailer donated by local organization


PARADIS, La. (WGNO) — As the temperatures continue to drop, the Nazio family has been bundling up inside of tents that sit on their front yard. Hurricane Ida destroyed the home that’s been in the Nazio family for decades, forcing the parents and their three children to live outside.

“They took at it as one big camping trip. We sleep on air mattresses, we put blankets on top of the air mattress and we bundle up with one or two blankets, however many we need,” said Hypolite Nazio.

Hypolite Nazio, the patriarch of the family, says he registered for assistance with FEMA and the state of Louisiana, but had yet to get temporary shelter.

“Kind of feels like I’m getting the run around. I call one government agency, I get an email saying I got to call another government agency and they tell me I got to call somebody else. Where does it end at? When does the help come?” said Nazio.

But just when the family thought they’d be spending another night sleeping on the cold ground, a man from Houma saw their story on social media.

“I knew I had a camper that would be perfect for a big family and so I knew I couldn’t go to sleep tonight until I got it done,” said Matt Rookard.

Rookard, with the Terrebonne Economic Development Foundation, drove to the Nazio’s Paradis home to deliver a trailer to house the family of five.

For the first time in more than two months, the Nazios will be sleeping inside.

“Feeling great, feeling great. This is a miracle,” said Nazio.

Rookard says it’s not just his organization, but a team of bayou region businesses who are working to expedite the recovery process.

“We went and raised one and a half million dollars to start trying to supplement the work FEMA was doing because the slowness of the process,” said Rookard.

And it’s because of the efforts of local businesses and community organizations that the Nazios finally have a place to live.

“It wasn’t FEMA that helped us, but this is miraculous. People just seen us and they wanted to help,” said Nazio.

This is the 9th trailer delivered by the bayou businesses. This program just rolled out on Tuesday and they’re surveying the hardest hit areas to bring trailers to. Right now, they have the funding to give out 70 trailers but are hoping to get to 100.

This program isn’t one folks can sign up for, but rather the businesses involved identify families in need and serve them accordingly.

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