Common Ground, New Orleans, USA

Common Ground Relief’s mission is to provide short term relief for victims of hurricane disasters in the gulf coast region, and long term support in rebuilding the communities affected in the New Orleans area. Common Ground Relief is a community-initiated volunteer organization offering assistance, mutual aid and support. The work gives hope to communities by working with them, providing for their immediate needs and emphasizes people working together to rebuild their lives in sustainable ways.

Common Ground Relief rose out of the immediate crisis created by Hurricane Katrina when tens of thousands of residents lost their homes, their possessions and their way of life. In the Lower Ninth Ward where approximately 14,000 people lived and 4,800 homes were located, this devastation represented the loss of a community where over 54% of the residents had lived at 25 years and roots in the neighborhood had resulted in the highest percentage of African American home ownership of any city in the United States. The loss of these homes represented the disappearance of a family’s major asset, economic livelihood and, as a result, their future.