A Community Voice
Following the devastating impact of hurricane Katrina in 2005 some parts of the city of New Orleans are still struggling to move forward. In particular East New Orleans residents are still dealing with schools
that are inadequately resourced, non functioning public libraries and too few jobs. Transportation is limited so residents need the Internet as a way to keep connected and informed. Although the spirits of community residents have been weakened, they have not been broken.
In 2011 around one to two hundred area residents gathered to discuss priorities for their community and decided a community center was a top priority.
They elected an 11 member board to initiate plans for the center. In early 2012, Self-Development of people partnered with the group by awarding it a $20,000 grant. Today the project consists of a community center centrally located from the 7th, 8th and 9th wards and Gentilly in East New Orleans.
The center offers computer training, job skills training, mentoring among peers, job searches and access to resources, among many other things. As a result of the center, with internet access and job training, new opportunities have opened up for the community residents. For some residents, merely learning how to operate a computer is a major step forward and allows them to fully participate in society.