St. Charles Parish remembering Katrina

Cristina Cavicchia Hargis, Destrehan: Left homeless, but found husband because of Katrina

I was living in Metairie and starting my first full year teaching at Destrehan High School (DHS). I barely knew anyone and was in the process of trying to find a new apartment because I had to move out of my old one by the end of September.

I set up an appointment to look at an apartment on Labor Day with the intent of signing a lease only to have Hurricane Katrina hit.

Even with the time off, I couldn’t get back to work right away because my car was parked in a carport in front of a van in Mandeville that had a tree on top of it. Everyone thought I wasn’t coming back, but luckily, I did.

Not only that, but I had no apartment to live in anymore. My old one was unavailable to continue to live in, and I could not find anywhere new to live. If not for my amazingly kind co-workers I had at DHS, I would have been sleeping in my car.

Every night I crashed on someone’s couch or floor, and every morning I woke up not knowing where I would sleep that night. But my DHS family took care of me and offered me what they could – from beds to food to friendship.

It wasn’t until the end of November that I found a place to live in New Orleans. Additionally, my husband lost his teaching job in New Orleans and was hired at DHS to teach the influx of new, displaced students. If not for Katrina, I never would have met him.

He’s definitely my light in the darkness. I’m forever grateful to my DHS family and am blessed to teach at such a wonderful school and to now live in such a great parish. Geaux Wildcats!


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