From One Porch to Another - Katrina Survivor's Story
Brown said starting over from scratch was a shock.
"At first, I wasn't too comfortable," she admitted. "I don't care if we were here or anywhere, but I wasn't comfortable because it wasn't my own."
Brown said her residence has become more of a home in the past year, but the transition is still hard. She doesn't know many neighbors, and one of them told KOMU the family is bringing down the block.
"Most of the time, people feel that we're there, evacuees or refugees or whatever, and I'm not going to get involved with that," Brown said.
Brown said she really missed her former neighbors Tuesday because it was not only the anniversary of Katrina, but also her birthday.
"We'd sit down and talk, have cake and ice cream," Brown remembered. "And today? Nothing. It's just a day, just another day."
But, Brown said members of Memorial Baptist Church have been gutting and rewiring her New Orleans house. She's also hired contractors to start restoring what's left.
A consulting firm reported only about half of New Orleans' pre-Katrina population remains. It costs 40% more to rent a home or apartment than before the hurricane, and 25% more to buy a home. The consultants also reported a shortage of hospital beds and low-water pressure in some neighborhoods.