Katrina-Battered Homes Now Going Green

And the Hollywood factor hasn't hurt, either. Celebrities, like Brad Pitt and other supporters from around the world have helped by building low-income, eco-friendly houses, like the one Peterson was standing in.

"There's a tremendous interest in doing something different as the community rebuilds," Peterson said.

And the confidence of the community residents is also on an upswing.

"We are a resilient people," Banks said. "And it's like with any natural disaster -- you don't just run from it. But these are our homes, and the home doesn't just make up houses -- it's the people in the community and the unity within the people that we have here."

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