The Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative is a Community Mission Appeal (CMA) grant recipient. Your donation to the CMA fund is helping ministries, like Jericho Road, provide important and life-changing community ministry. Click here learn more about CMA.
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by Holly Heine, Director of Operations and Communications, and Peter Davis, Development and Communications Coordinator

Serving communities requires a commitment to collaboration. Central City is a community in New Orleans that Christ Church Cathedral and Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative focus our service in. Like many communities, Central City is home to a diverse population, so we consider a diverse set of needs. Central City has historically been a group of neighborhoods comprised of mostly low-income working families and mostly renters.

Christ Church Cathedral received a Community Mission Appeal (CMA) grant from the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana to be used for the ministry of Jericho Road.  What an opportunity this created! Jericho Road was able to leverage the CMA funding in a way that brought many non-profit groups together AND incorporated a great volunteer impact from parishioners at the Cathedral.

In March Jericho Road facilitated a volunteer event called Bling Your Block in conjunction with Marriott Hotels’ Spirit to Serve service project that brought over 3,000 volunteers to New Orleans. We organized projects that utilized 100 volunteers including:

  • working with Central City homeowners on minor home improvements and beautification,
  • implementing vacant land strategies on vacant lots to enhance value and aesthetic,
  • and creating and installing large scale art on the perimeter of a vacant brownfield.

The financial resources provided by the CMA grant were instrumental in making this all happen, giving Jericho Road a foundation for this effort. We were able to attract other non-profit groups and local businesses to contribute goods and services. With the help of a Vestry leader at Christ Church Cathedral, we had tremendous support from

Cathedral parishioners who showed up and volunteered as part of our team to ensure our project went off without a hitch! Cathedral parishioners didn’t only volunteer but we also received financial donations and donations of goods to support the event. We wouldn’t have had nearly the success we saw if our friends from Christ Church Cathedral hadn’t shown up the way they did!

Most importantly, as a result of all efforts leading up to and on the day of our Bling Your Block project we heard from residents on the blocks we served “Thank you!” The service project improved the quality of life for many. Homeowners who didn’t have access to resources needed for repairs/improvements to their homes got a helping hand. Residents who live around the abandoned fenced-off brownfield now see creativity outside their door. Neighbors who have been living with the ill effects of vacant lots in their block now experience the benefits and value that well-maintained lots planted with fragrant groundcover bring.

It’s important work that we do – creating positive improvement and providing opportunities to families who work hard and deserve the benefits that we all desire from healthy and inclusive neighborhoods and the security of owning your own home. Jericho Road cannot do this work without the investment of community partners like the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana. We are grateful!

Learn more about Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative: https://jerichohousing.org/

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