The dream has become reality! For many years, Hope House staff and board envisioned a place where clients who complete the Hope House program have the opportunity to transition into safe, affordable housing in the central Louisiana community. Our region severely lacks affordable housing units and this “pocket neighborhood” option enables clients to truly come full circle. In addition to Hope House graduates, other qualified homeless candidates may be referred to Hope House by other agencies for application to Hope Community as well.
Groundbreaking for Hope Community is set for early November 2022.
The initial phase of the neighborhood project will include four (4) single-family homes and a shared outdoor space with a playground, grills for cooking, picnic-style tables and a garden where residents can grow some of their own food if they choose.
Hope Community is being developed in phases with scalability in mind. The current property on Duhon Lane in Alexandria can accommodate up to 15 homes. In Phase 2, we plan to add additional units as resources allow. In time, we envision building multiple neighborhoods of this type, addressing the gap in safe, affordable housing for low-income families in the area.
Construction of the initial four homes in Phase 1 is being funded by an award from the Louisiana Housing Corporation, and a grant from the Central Louisiana Community Foundation will fund the neighborhood’s shared outdoor space. To see this vision through, we need support from the central Louisiana community and beyond. The immediate need in Phase 1 is funding for the construction of the street in the neighborhood. Grant monies awarded do not include infrastructure costs and other operational necessities.
Response to this project has been overwhelming and positive. Donations of land and general funding have begun to come in. One very special donation dedicated to the memory of our late, beloved board member Adrienne Dole, will fund the community garden, an integral part of the neighborhood community.
We want to build on this momentum and ensure the long-term success and growth of this essential project. By contributing to Hope Community, you are making an investment in Central Louisiana. The impact of a person who was homeless transitioning to sustainable, safe, independent living cannot be overstated. The effects on public health, government resources and community spirit – among many other areas – is incalculable.
Removing the stressor of finding safe, affordable housing will allow residents to focus on strengthening other important areas of their lives – spending quality time with their children, furthering their education, finding meaningful work. The sense of community offered by the Hope Community pocket neighborhood model will give residents the opportunity to build friendships and support systems with neighbors who share the same goals and challenges as them.
Hope House has been fighting homelessness one family at a time for more than 30 years. Hundreds of families have achieved a better life through the helping hand we provide. We believe Hope Community is a key to unlocking an even better future for our Hope House graduates. Please consider supporting this project, and let’s make Central Louisiana the place we all want it to be!