Three days prior to Hurricane Katrina reaching New Orleans, the leadership relocated all of the women and staff of Milne. We found temporary lodging at the Glade Baptist Church, 140 miles northeast of New Orleans in Laurel, Mississippi.
Pre-Katrina, the most recent location of the Milne campus was adjacent the city fairgrounds on Gentilly Boulevard, New Orleans. This is located just north of downtown New Orleans.
It was devastating to watch the television as the Milne campus and buildings flooded with water from the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. The water flowing over the broken down levees topped the rooves of some of the buildings of our former campus.
Realizing it wasn’t possible to physically return home to Louisiana, the management made a one million dollar investment in customizing and updating an aging intermediate healthcare facility in Laurel to become the temporary home for all of the women of Milne.
While the facility was being renovated, the women slept on air mattresses in the gymnasium of Glade Baptist Church for 256 nights. Nightly the air mattresses were inflated for sleeping and then deflated the following morning to avail more functional living and multi-purpose space for everyone during the day. The renovated intermediate healthcare facility had numerous space restrictions, but it was now everyone’s temporary home.