Brad Pitt unveiled the next phase of his mission to help the people of New Orleans rebuild their homes in the devastated ninth ward, backed by a personal $5 million donation. His "Make It Right" fundraising effort is collecting $150,000 from celebrities, including Jimmy Buffett, and from business leaders for the construction of 150 eco-friendly and flood-proof homes to replace those destroyed in the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
"The families of New Orleans need the help of families across America this holiday season," said Pitt. "We are asking Americans this holiday season to go to our website, MakeItRight, and send a contribution that will help us rebuild homes for these families — and rebuild their lives."
Pitt was joined by the architects, who unveiled their groundbreaking designs for the community. In addition to high-quality, sustainable design, the project incorporates the spirit and culture of the Lower 9th Ward and encourages it to flourish.
Today’s launch was marked by the unveiling of 150 bright pink structures the size of real houses erected throughout the project site. The pink houses, which will remain for five weeks, serve as a stand in for the vibrant community that will be built.
Pitt also unveiled innovative features of the donation website. Users are able to "walk" through houses and select which items in the house they will support with their contributions. The site also allows users to provide parts of a house on behalf of their friends and families.
Following the announcements, Pitt hosted a party for Lower 9th residents. The party included appearances by Jerry Lee Lewis, Ivan Neville, and Fats Domino.
Earlier this year, Pitt and Steve Bing announced at the Clinton Global Initiative that they each would match $5 million in contributions to the houses, for a total of $10 million in matching funds, and challenged others to join them in rebuilding New Orleans.
Pitt became a part-time resident of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. After seeing the devastation first hand and meeting with the hardest-hit residents, he began the Make It Right project to catalyze the rebuilding of New Orleans starting with the Lower 9th Ward.
The 150-home community will address the dire need for single-family housing in the Lower 9th Ward and further spark rebuilding efforts in one of the richest cultural communities in America. Make It Right’s mission is built upon catalyzing redevelopment of the Lower 9th Ward by building a neighborhood of safe and healthy homes that incorporates modern, high-quality design and ensuring a green, affordable, sustainable, and replicable community to serve as a model for further rebuilding. The process has including the Lower 9th Ward community as an integral part of the process; and a finance plan that ensures that residents who wish to return to the Lower 9th Ward can do so without further financial hardship.
Thanks to Andrew N. for the heads-up.