Man uses social media to help Livingston Parish residents gut homes
DENHAM SPRINGS – Driving down the streets in Livingston Parish, you hear hammering and scraping coming from thousands of homes.
In James Poe’s home, they are just getting started.
“It is a mixture of sad, disbelief and hope,” Poe said.
Sitting out front of his home is a large pile of debris. Flooding destroyed everything. But during the tragedy, a helping hand reached out. It was a hand that James had known for over 40 years.
James Cleveland is one of Poe’s childhood friends. So far, Cleveland has helped gut out nearly a dozen homes so far. He used social media to reach out to others.
“The more people I talk to, the more people I found out who didn’t have insurance, didn’t have family to help them,” Cleveland said. “It’s very important to get all the debris out, the water out. The mold takes over very quickly.”
Poe and Cleveland hoped to have the house cleared Saturday. Cleveland says he is not stopping there.
“Well, over a hundred messages in the last few days. They kind of tricked in the first few days, but as word has spread, I’ve gotten more and more and more,” Cleveland said.
Cleveland told WBRZ that he doesn’t want recognition for what he is doing. His message is just: “Help your neighbor.”
“You can drive a mile in any direction and find somebody who needs help,” he says. “I’ve not pulled up on any location where someone has refused the help and didn’t need it.”
The tearing and ripping will be happening for days to come. His friend Poe now has someone to lean on.
“I’m proud of him. I am proud of him,” Poe said.
On to the next house, taking it a day at a time.