Ten Years…

The message of Make It Right is to take this spot that was emblematic of such human failure and to make it a human success story of how we can build in the future, how we can build with equality, how we can build for families. – Brad Pitt, founder, Make It Right

before after

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina killed mothers, brothers, granddaughters, friends – and destroyed more than 5,000 homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward.

Three years later, while other neighborhoods were well on their way to recovery, a few people in the Lower 9th Ward were living in FEMA trailers on their land, surrounded by thousands of empty lots.

Those hardest hit by the storm were also the last to rebuild.


Make It Right was founded to help these people – to build sustainable, affordable homes for people in need. Today we will hand over the keys to our 109th home to a new homeowner, a middle school teacher and single mother.

When our work began, the Lower 9th Ward was so empty. Today it’s often the small things that are the biggest thrills – the postman delivering mail, kids running to the school bus, backyard BBQs and crawfish boils. Things that we hoped for, but couldn’t imagine after the devastation ten years ago.

Our families would not have homes today without friends like you. To everyone who said a prayer, swung a hammer or opened your hearts and your wallets – thank you.


The work is not finished. Ten years later, we have 87 families on our waiting list, still trying to come home.

We will keep building as long as we have families who need help and donors who believe in our work.

As we reflect on the anniversary of Katrina and the lives lost in the devastating storm, we’re asking for your help again. Please give today.

It has been devastating, and it is still devastating—there is a lot of work to do.

But Make It Right gave the Lower Ninth Ward the shot in the arm that it needed to come back and survive, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

– Liljose Tompkins, Lower Ninth Ward homeowner

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Leave a Comment


  1. You’re doing such amazing work in NOLA – and across the world. You and AJP are incredibly generous humans. Keep up the good work.

  2. Everyone thinks this is such a wonderful thing. He went to an area that was falling apart before Katrina and crime ridden with many living on government assistance and gave them new homes. Meanwhile, two miles down the street there was an entire city wiped out, made up of working middle class and no one came to help. Canadian rescue workers arrived before our own, the Sheriff’s office and fire department commandeered whatever boats they could find to rescue our residents while airlifts were being conducted all over New Orleans. Yes it was a tragedy what happened to the 9th ward, however St. Bernard Parish was wiped out too. No one came to help “make it right” there. Nor did they go to Lakeview or St. Tammany Parish. New Orleans was not the only place affected by Katrina but you would never know by the news coverage.

    • Jaime,

      You may be right concerning what you say, but it is no reason to negate what Brad Pitt did. Building 109 houses is no small feat by any standard. Let us give honor where honor is due.. Having said that, what we need are more persons like him to rise to the challenge and make a difference. Can you imagine if two dozen out of the how many million people living in the US were to do what he did? St. Bernard Parish would have been rebuilt… What we don’t need is discouragement for those who are doing… But to encourage others to have a conscience, and reach for the baton that the Pitts are extending for the whosoever will… It’s a lot of work to be done and the 9th Ward is certainly not fully recovered. But like you said, New Orleans was not the only place affected by Katrina (and I might add there are other places affected by other hurricanes that have not recovered), so we need like-minded persons to step forward and “put their money where their mouth is…”

      • Editor, very well said. Your words reflect my thoughts after reading the comment above. At the end of this month I will be a resident of one of the townhouses from the Bancroft School Project here in Kansas City. I am thankful not only for the people who are providing the means for quality living in neighborhoods seemingly forgotten by the masses, but for the desire to go wherever there is a need and do what is needed. We, ALL PEOPLE, are in this together and WE have to look out for one another. Spread the light from the Lower Ninth Ward to other areas like fractals of hope. Thank you to Make It Right, the Pitt family and all those, as stated above, who prayed, swung hammers and gave from hearts as well as pockets! God bless!!!

  3. Okay, Brad…Now is the time to get back into action building/repairing/completing these homes.
    Your foundation is getting a bad rap in the news…What you’ve done thus far is pretty damned amazing, but you’ve got to finish the job…now more than ever.
    This is your chance to bring your life back around full-circle, a chance to set the record straight that you are a very decent human being regardless of what anyone is saying to the media, to the courts, to anyone. You’ve been through a lot according to the headlines, etc…I don’t read that BS, but it’s impossible not to see it on the cover of a rag, or hear at work about your strife. Here’s your chance…sure hope you take the opportunity to put a spin on it.
    I live in Jacksonville, FL, downtown JAX, our community would be forever grateful to have some of the MIR homes. Anyone would, I’m sure.
    Let me know if you want my help, I’d be more than happy to serve my fellow Americans anywhere needed…
    Peace & God Speed
    CRE Maurer