Family vows to have insurance this time
Just days before Christmas last year, the Smith family from New Sarpy lost everything in a fire. But thanks to the kindness of a ministry, the family will get a new start in a brand new home.
Orvette Smith, the head of the family and a respected member of the St. Charles Parish community, couldn’t be more grateful.
“The House of Prayer Church donated us a house,” he said “The structure needs to be expanded, but it’s just a matter of getting moved about 300 feet onto our land where the other house was, Our home wasn’t insured, but this time around it will be.”
The four families living in the house lost everything in the seven bedroom, four bathroom residence and now are split up living in different areas.
“We’re looking forward to building the house back to the same size it was before, so we can all be together as a family,” Smith said.
Smith advises everyone to get house insurance.
“You never know what’s going to happen and it’s better to have some kind of insurance on your property in case of unforeseen circumstances like the fire we experienced,” he said.
Even families living in rented apartments need to have some kind of insurance.
Councilman Larry Cochran would like to see more support and assistance go to families who are victims of fires.
“There must be something else we can do,” he said. “I want to see these families get as much support and assistance as possible.”
Rekita Alexander and her four children have also received help from residents after losing everything in a fire.
“After my story appeared in the Times-Picayune, a lot of people opened their hearts to help my four children and I,” she said. “We are thankful for their support.”
Alexander, a Katrina Evacuee, moved to St. Rose after the hurricane destroyed her apartment in Orleans Parish. She has now been coping with trying to recover after a fire destroyed her second residence in St. Charles Parish.
“We’ve been living in the Best Western motel in LaPlace,” she said. “The manager gave us a week free after finding out we had been living in a rental car.”
Alexander’s four children are 11, 8, 4 and 1.
“A daycare owner in the parish has offered to keep my younger children free of charge while I go out and find work,” she said. “Due to the high cost of daycare, I’ve been unable to afford it, and with no home address, applying for child care assistance has been difficult.”
Alexander, and her husband parted before Katrina, says she made a living braiding hair and babysitting in the apartment complex before it burned down.
“I used to be able to support myself, by providing childcare for people and doing hair, so I could be at home with my kids,” she said. “With this support, I’m slowly beginning to get back on track.”
Donations have been pouring in from people all across the parish. To make monetary donations to assist the Alexander family, an account has been set up at Metairie Bank in Jefferson Parish.