Harry Connick Jr. to Lead Jazz Funeral for Blighted Housing
New Orleans - Nov. 11, 1999 - Harry Connick Jr., accompanied by Mayor Marc Morial and music from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts Jazz Band, will lead a traditional Jazz Funeral for poverty housing in New Orleans. The funeral will symbolically bury the dilapidated house at 2112 Music Street in the Ninth Ward neighborhood and celebrate the resurrection of decent shelter in New Orleans.
The "funeral," at which Connick and the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity will announce a partnership to combat substandard housing in New Orleans, will take place 3:00 p.m., November 19, at 2112 Music Street.
The partnership's immediate plans include a springtime benefit concert by Connick to fund the sponsorship of a Habitat house at the Music Street address. Connick intends to mobilize local support for Habitat's house- and community-building projects.
"We are here today to celebrate not simply the rehabilitation of sorely-needed affordable housing, but the growing strength of our community itself -- through Harry and Habitat for Humanity -- to identify and effect initiatives that will restore long-term stability to the neighborhood," said Mayor Marc Morial.
Connick, approached Habitat for Humanity in order to give back to the community that supported him throughout his career. A native New Orleanian, Connick has developed a growing concern for his hometown, especially the large numbers of families living in substandard housing. The musician and actor was drawn to Habitat's work because it at once empowers individuals and offers a long-term solution to the many of the problems plaguing New Orleans neighborhoods.
Habitat for Humanity International is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating poverty housing worldwide. It brings together people with resources and people in need to build decent, affordable houses. The homes are sold to those in need at no profit through no-interest loans.
Founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, Habitat for Humanity International has built more than 80,000 houses, providing shelter for more than 400,000 people worldwide. New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity has built 39 houses in the metropolitan area since its founding in 1983.