Leading the way home, Beacon of Hope provides a model for recovery in neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Katrina, as well as other areas affected by disaster.
Denise Thornton spent several terrifying days in the Louisiana Superdome. She made a promise to herself that if she got out safely, she would do something more meaningful with her life.
Soon after returning to her flooded New Orleans home, she founded the grassroots organization Beacon of Hope Resource Center. She believed that if her neighborhood was safe and viable again, others would be willing to return. After communicating with her displaced neighbors, Denise took to the streets to begin surveying the damage and identifying resources to revitalize her community and bring her neighbors home.
Today, the Beacon of Hope Resource Center has grown to include twenty neighborhood Beacons (resource centers), throughout New Orleans, including the Lakewood, Lakeview, Gentilly, Hollygrove, and Lower Ninth Ward communities. In 2008, we also opened two affiliate Beacons outside of Louisiana, one in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in Bridge City, Texas and one in response to the flooding of the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Please visit us at www.lakewoodbeacon.org for more information.
1. Beacon of Hope has created a M.O.D.E.L. (Mapping. Outreach. Development. Empowerment. Leadership) for neighborhood revitalization and sustainability.
2. We empower residents to facilitate their own recovery, by advocating to local government and taking an active role in their community.
3. Quarterly property surveys provide residents with current, accurate data to track repopulation, encourage economic development, and fight blight.
4. Our neighborhood-by-neighborhood approach helps assure that no one “slips through the cracks” of large government programs and national resources.
5. We have hosted over 12,000 volunteers who have donated their time, equivalent to over $1,400,000, to help improve neighborhoods and assist homeowners.