It’s eleven years since the most destructive hurricane in US history, Hurricane Katrina, flattened huge areas of New Orleans, tore down homes, and claimed thousands of lives.
The Lower Ninth Ward district was the hardest hit, suffering flooding that devastated neighborhoods.
Superstar actor Brad Pitt was determined to do something to help the people of New Orleans so he quietly set about rebuilding homes for those who’d lost theirs to this terrifying natural disaster.
Through his Make It Right foundation, Pitt (along with wife Angelina Jolie) hired architects, designers, landscapers, and an army of volunteers to build 109 new houses in the district.
Pitt personally worked with everyone involved to ensure the houses weren’t cheap quality — he wanted his vision of a eco-friendly, stylish, spacious houses for people with nothing to become a reality.
“We went into it incredibly naive,” admits the actor, “Just thinking, we can build homes — how hard is that?”
Struggling through all kinds of bureaucracy from building permits to financial law, Pitt met with families who had lost everything to Katrina, asking them what they needed in their new home.
He even bought a new home for his wife and six children in New Orleans so he could be directly involved in every stage of the project.
And today, residents are delighted to own beautiful new homes thanks to the Make It Right foundation.
They were allowed to choose the color of their homes, and everyone picked bright, vibrant shades to represent the new lease of life they had been given after losing their homes and loved ones.
The eco-friendly homes are equipped with the latest technology and, thanks to famous architects employed by Pitt, the futuristic buildings have become a tourist attraction in New Orleans.
“I get this well of pride when I see this little oasis of color and solar panels,” says Pitt, “I drive into the neighborhood and I see people on their porch and I ask them how is their house treating them.”
“They say, ‘Good’ and I say, what’s your utility bill? And they’ll throw something out like, ’24 bucks’ or something, and I feel fantastic.”
Awesome work, Brad!