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National LISC News

Hollygrove Livable Communities Project

2011 MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Seniors and Safety Award Winner

Partners: Carrolton-Hollygrove Community Development Corporation (CHCDC) and the New Orleans Police Department
Location: New Orleans, LA

In 2007 in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the CHCDC partnered with AARP Louisiana, Trinity Christian Community, and Hollygrove Neighbors in the Hollygrove Livable Communities Project to plan and revitalize an "elder-friendly" neighborhood. Prior to the storms, Hollygrove was home to nearly 7,000 residents of whom 95% were African American, and over 15% were over 65. An active drug trade and prostitution flourished in many parts of Hollygrove where robberies, assaults and murders were common occurrences. When the levees broke, the majority of Hollygrove homes were damaged or destroyed. A once vibrant senior center that connected older adults and provided day care and meal service was declared uninhabitable by FEMA. City officials labeled Hollygrove, once a thriving working class community, as "the forgotten neighborhood". A Leadership Steering Committee was formed comprised of the four partner organizations and community residents. By partnering with AARP, the CHCDC coordinated Safe Growth (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) and Problem-Oriented Police trainings with residents and the New Orleans Police Department at a time when training was nonexistent for a police department trying to stand back up after a major crisis. Together, residents and police officers have contributed to the reduction in crime and fear in Hollygrove, and an increase in social connectedness and resident activities such as the Hollygrove Walking Club. Violent crime is down 68% in the 2nd District, which is experiencing a nine-month period free from murders after having averaged one to two murders per month in 2009.

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