Jim's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    San Jose Team

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    New Orleans, LA

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 4

  • ON DVD:

JIM PATE

Executive Director
Habitat For Humanity

“It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican—none of that stuff matters. We can all agree on one thing and that's that everybody ought to have a decent place to live.”

INTERESTS:

Engineering Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Community Culture Dedication Determination Inspiration Perseverance Pressure Values

FOUNDATION:

Helping People Working with Others

TAGS:

building, differences, expectations, hope, justice, law, lifestyle, loss, New Orleans, parents, rebuilding, the system

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Calls New Orleans the most interesting city in America—no matter what your background is, everyone has a place in New Orleans.
  • Growing up, he expected he’d go into a more “traditional” profession like his parents, have a nuclear family.
  • Studied and practiced law—started to resent the “us vs. them” mentality; lawyers were pursuing money rather than justice.
  • Says the greatest part about Habitat for Humanity is that there’s no one there who resents it; everyone there wants to be there.
  • He left law, found Habitat through his church, where he’d been running a soup kitchen.
  • Started as a “house leader” volunteer in 1984; says he caught “infectious Habit-itis.”
  • Seeing the families they were impacting, the areas they were rebuilding had him hooked.
  • Now he’s committed himself to rebuilding his favorite city, New Orleans; says little by little, the city is rising back up like a “phoenix out of the ashes.”

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