Film actor Brad Pitt formed the Make It Right Foundation to help build at least 150 affordable and environmently-friendly homes in New Orleans Lower Nineth Ward.
Pitt was shocked by what he saw when he visited the Lower Nineth Ward for the first time after the storm that devastated the region. Pitt was even more disturbed by the lack of a clear plan to address the situation and the speculation that the area would never be rebuilt.
"We're going into the third holiday season and these people are still sitting in limbo," he told NBC's Anne Curry during an interview on the Today Show Read or watch the first interview. Read or watch the followup interview. "Success will be seeing a community here thrive again and seeing a barbecue and seeing people hang out on the front porch and making music and kids riding bikes through the streets."
Pitt and real estate developer Leo S. Bing have each pledged to match $5 million in donations to the Make It Right project. The project is designed to be a catalyst for redevelopment of the Lower Nineth Ward, by building a neighborhood comprised of safe and healthy homes. The foundation's goal is to accomplish this quickly, so that the first residents can begin returning to their homes.
“We are the greenest neighborhood in the United States already, and that’s only with 15 houses,” Pitt said. "It’s an extraordinary success … we got families here that have moved in. And they’re coming home with $20 utility bills, $12 electric bills.”
Pitt and his wife Angelie Jolie have a home in the historical French Quarter of New Orleans. They collaborate on humanitarian efforts through their Jolie-Pitt Foundation. The foundation donated $1 million to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for the humanitarian effort assisting millions of people affected by the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region.
Watch Anne Curry's interview with Brad Pitt about his foundation's work in New Orleans.
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