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Lafitte Portrait 

Terri Dummars, 42

Right now, we're living on Airline, in a motel here. But it felt good to get my son Joshua back to his regular school; he's 12 and he goes to St. Joan of Arc on Cambronne.

"I was looking forward to the Lafitte reopening. I don't understand why they would want to knock it down. All the projects are not the same. It's safe to say that we lived in the best project in town. We never did have a lot of crime, not like the Iberville. It was always clean, because we definitely would go out and pick up the litter. And I could walk to Canal Street, to City Park, to the Galvez bus stop. Everything was convenient.

"We lived across from the park with my mother, who helped me take care of my son. She's 66. I grew up in that apartment with my brother and my parents; they moved there right after they had me, in 1964. My father is deceased. I lost him when I was 11, but he did labor work. My mother would work with him, cleaning offices.

"I was working for the Orleans Parish School Board; I got laid off after Katrina. I'm currently going to school, studying to be a paralegal. So I was devastated when Oliver Thomas made that comment about public-housing residents not working. I thought, 'He doesn't know anything about the Lafitte; he didn't grow up there, and he wasn't there to see who was working and who wasn't.' And I believe that the Lafitte had more working people than other projects.

"One elderly neighbor lady was blind, so she couldn't work. But my neighbor to my right, she worked with children at Total Community Action's Head Start. Across from me, I had one neighbor, Helen, who worked in a restaurant; I think she was a cook. Another one worked on the third floor of Charity in the psych unit; she was a nurse. One of our neighbors did construction work, one worked for the city, and we had medical assistants, a couple of them. Some also worked for the school board, in the cafeteria. Mr. Lionel Batiste, we would hear him practicing his bass drum through his open door. His daughter worked at Charity and at Circle Foods. His other daughter was in the medical field. Everybody around me worked."


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