Primary Collaborative Partners
CONGREGATION OF THE MISSION (SOUTHERN PROVINCE (VINCENTIANS)
Months before Katrina unleashed its deadly forces on the Gulf Coast, the Vincentians of the Southern Province were already discussing and making plans to reorganize their ministry in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. After much reflection and discussion among the members of the province-at-large, it was decided to turn over the administration of St. Stephen Church to the Archdiocese and focus energy and resources on St. Joseph Church.
It was felt that a Vincentian presence at St. Joseph Church would afford a better opportunity to work collaboratively with other religious and lay people in pursuing the Vincentian charism of evangelizing the poor, especially the abandoned poor. The lasting destruction in the St. Joseph neighborhood following Hurricane Katrina only served to strengthen the rationale to focus resources at St. Joseph. The Vincentians look forward to even more opportunities to work with individuals and organizations who share the mission to serve the poor.
THE HARRY TOMPSON CENTER OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH
Prior to Hurricane Katrina the Harry Tompson Center, a day shelter for the homeless begun in 1999, provided 50,000 units of service annually and was an integral component of the Continuum of Care, the region-wide plan implemented by UNITY of Greater New Orleans, a consortium of over 70 homeless service organizations serving Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. Having lost its program space to the floods of Katrina, the HTC is proud to be one of the partners in the Rebuild Center. It is hopes that the Rebuild Center will be a concrete source of help to those trying to rebuild their lives and a beacon of light to others working on behalf of the poor in New Orleans.
PRESENTATION SISTERS COLLABORATIVE MINISTRY
Lantern Light, Inc. is a Collaborative Project of the Conference of Presentation Sisters of North America and has been responding to the “cry of those made poor” for the past two years here in New Orleans. The ministry reaches out in faith to the homeless and those made poor, a bearer of hope as its various manifestations are nurtured, by encouraging, supporting, comforting, assisting and being a compassionate, listening presence to those encountered.
JESUITS OF THE NEW ORLEANS PROVINCE
Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing floods crippled many of the works and affiliated ministries of the Jesuits of the New Orleans Province, and destroyed the provincial office. Immaculate Conception Parish rectory and church basement flooded, as did their primary ministry to the homeless, the Harry Tompson Center located just next to the church. Without a congregation to support it, a staff to work in it, and a building to house it, it initially appeared the the HTC would not reopen. But a conversation between the Jesuits, UNITY for the Homeless and the Presentation Sisters around a kitchen table in the back of St. Joseph’s church sparked a dream for a new collaborative ministry through which services provided to homeless people by each individual organization could be saved and strengthened.
The Jesuit Province contacted the School of Urban Design at the University of Detroit Mercy (a Jesuit school) to accept an earlier offer of help to assist in rebuilding province structures. The complex that they designed and which is used today is a symbol of a mutual ministry through which we can accompany the poor and homeless and bring Christ’s empowering message of love to them in a setting which recognizes their dignity and needs.
HISPANIC APOSTOLATE COMMUNITY SERVICES
CATHOLIC CHARITIES, ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW ORLEANS
Shortly after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, the Hispanic Apostolate and Catholic Charities saw the need for a centralized location from which to serve the Latino workers who came to this city to help rebuild. The Apostolate has committed full-time staff to provide services specific to this effort, includeing Immigration Services, Emergency Assistance, Workers’ Rights education, and ensure access for Spanish-speakers to the services provided by other partners at the Center, Other services will be added s need is determined.