hope * strength * rebirth  

Hurricane Gustav update (01 sept. 2008):
At this time, we wait to re-enter St. Bernard after the storm subsides. HOPE will be looking for volunteer groups to help make home repairs and clean up debris. Contact us if you are able to volunteer in St. Bernard Parish. e-mail: hopeprojectstb (at) gmail.com

HOPE news updates

Katrina relief work update (summer 2008):
Over two years after the storm, St. Bernard Parish still needs rebuilding assistance desperately. However, most organizations are overloaded with demand for relief assistance and limited in their capacity to host volunteer groups.

Please consider organizing your own temporary relief/rebuilding group with experienced folks to facilitate projects on your trip to the gulf coast. Often times you can accomplish and experience more on your own than you can with a huge, single-focus organization like Habitat for Humanity, who seperates volunteers from residents and limits your exposure to the people actually affected by the storm.

And don't limit yourself to construction--consider organizing a volunteer group that can help St. Bernard Parish residents with mental health issues, child care, youth mentoring, or elderly care for example. If you still wish to volunteer with a local non-profit rebuilding organization, there are several to choose from in the gulf coast.

mr. sawzall and the magical levitating house ...but you came here looking to find work with HOPE?
what are you thinking?! HOPE Project is in search of motivated individuals looking to join our small family of folks working directly with local community members. HOPE is helping to rebuild the storm-ravaged, flooded, and government-neglected town of Violet, Louisiana, as well as working with residents of St. Bernard Parish, a region entirely flooded during hurricane Katrina. Your time commitment is up to you, but 1 month to a year is most benificial for making an effective contribution (It is really difficult to work with 1-week volunteers). Housing, food, and transportation are NOT provided, but we may be able to assist you in finding these basic needs.

We need help building and facilitating work crews, community projects, child care, youth outreach, and mental wellness. Responsibilities may include maintaining facilities and supplies, working with others to accomplish tasks in need, and looking after one another. We are specifically searching for focused individuals willing to create new community projects involving youth outreach and adult mental health/wellness. Most work and living responsibilities at HOPE are shared, ideally leading to positive group dynamics and an equal work load. A commitment to the community is the only expectation.

e-mail: hopeprojectstb (at) gmail.com


Programs and Positions Opportunites...
Mental Wellness, Youth Outreach, & Child Care
posted 18 July 2008

Our extremely small collective is attempting to build a few new projects, eventually to become community-facilitated:
1. Community-based peer supports for mental wellness
2. Youth outreach
3. Child care

1. Mental health is a huge issue since hurricane Katrina (and before), perhaps only comparable to the mental health issues of returning Iraq war veterans coping with post-traumatic stress disorder. Unfortunately, it is being ignored just as much as mental health issues with US veterans. We need experienced and/or interested folks to become involved in building community-based peer supports for residents of Violet & St. Bernard Parish.

2. Youth in St. Bernard have little to do and few directions in which to go. Schools are funneling students into a mindless workforce, police are funneling targeted youth into prisons, and parents are sometimes too frustrated or too overburdened to find the time to spend with their kids. Youth outreach does exist in St. Bernard Parish, but is usually run by the government or the church. Very few independent youth outreach programs exist. There is a great potential for creating local projects to build skills, determination, and imagination in St. Bernard Parish youth.

3. Day care for children and infants is almost non-existent in New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish. We have done community-based child care in the past at HOPE, facilitating with local neighbors a volunteer-run day care center run out of a FEMA trailer (while there were no safe houses to live in). There needs to be more permanent, neighborhood-based child care centers where working parents can take their children to a safe environment.

None of these projects currently exist. We hope to change that in the next year. Please contact us if you have any information to share or would like to become involved.

e-mail: hopeprojectstb (at) gmail.com

page updated: january 2010