Hurricane survivor Robert Green, who lost members of his family in the 2005 flood disaster, gets a sympathetic embrace from the Ocean's star
Photo: © AFP
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Brad tours an installation symbolising the homes needed to house the citizens of the Ninth Ward, one of the city's poorest and most devastated areas
Photo: © AFP
4 DECEMBER 2007
There were touching scenes as Brad Pitt unveiled the next phase of his mission to help New Orleans build a range of eco-friendly and flood-proof homes to replace those destroyed in the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Accompanied by partner Angelina Jolie the star, who had his sights set on a career in architecture before he took up acting, listened to stories of survivors before touring the US city's flood-damaged Ninth Ward to publicise his 'Make It Right' project.
One resident, who lost his mother and granddaughter in the catastrophe, found himself swept up into a heartfelt hug by the Ocean's actor, who's put $5 million of his money into the reconstruction scheme.
After meeting with local residents Brad went on to inspect an installation of pink tents symbolising the new houses needed.
The father of four commissioned 13 architectural firms to design three-bedroom properties which incorporate solar power and other environmentally-sound features, and which are at least five feet off the ground. One design is for a floating house, another incorporates a lightweight concrete foundation which would rise with any future floodwaters.
He's keen to continue to play a hands-on role in the regeneration process, buying a house in the city which he'll use as a base to oversee the campaign. "I've always had a fondness for this place - it's like no other," said the screen hunk, who filmed The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button there earlier this year.
The actor urged churches and other organisations to contribute to the cost of the $150,000 units. Donors can also help by sponsoring individual items such as a low-cost light bulbs, solar panels and bathroom fixtures.
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