NOAHH and Covenant House Partner to Help Families Find Independence
The heart of NOAHH’s mission is to see that affordable housing is available for everyone in the New Orleans area. Our homeownership and ABWK programs allow us to serve a large portion of the population affected by substandard, unaffordable housing in the city, but still, there are many whose circumstances can’t be addressed under our current programs. By partnering with other local groups seeking to address the needs of the people who most need the stability and safety of safe, affordable housing, NOAHH hopes to reach as many people as possible. In the spirit of expanding the impact of affordable housing and eliminating substandard housing in the New Orleans area, NOAHH has partnered with Covenant House for a pilot rental program to help young people in several of Covenant House’s programs that help at-risk youth and families achieve stability and independence.
“Jim Pate had a desire to make sure Habitat was providing housing to all low-income and vulnerable families and residents of the city,” said Jim Kelly, Executive Director of Covenant House. “He has a real heart for troubled youth. He saw this as a great opportunity for us to partner on providing safe, decent housing for young men and women of New Orleans.”
At present, Covenant House provides on-campus housing to members of its “Rites of Passage” (ROP) programs. In ROP, clients of Covenant House engage in individually planned programs to address needs for housing, work skills training, and more. These programs are in place to help people left homeless by financial hardships, overcrowding, or abuse, as well as for children who have aged out of foster care programs. By providing rental properties with NOAHH, Covenant House hopes to transition those who have graduated from the ROP programs into more traditional housing, allowing them a safe, affordable pathway to living on their own.
“Covenant House brings hope and safety to a segment of the population that are often at their most vulnerable,” Jim Pate, NOAHH’s Executive Director, said. “Jim Kelly and everyone at Covenant House have dedicated themselves to a cause that uplifts those in need, and like Habitat, they do more than give hand outs. They give people the tools they need to change their lives.”
To start, NOAHH will build six units, including single-family homes and duplexes, while Covenant House will select tenants and provide support both financially and otherwise. These homes would provide more space and privacy, a fenced-in backyard for children to play in, and other benefits of their own home while still receiving support from Covenant House. As the program continues, NOAHH hopes to expand the partnership to have more available units throughout the city to help tenants live near their places of work and their children’s schools.
“I have been blessed over the years to partner with NOAHH in housing ministry,” said Kelly. “They have always been wonderful supporters, and hopefully, I’ve been able to equally applaud their efforts in our post-Katrina world.”
Both NOAHH and Covenant House will continue to serve those in need in the New Orleans area and work together to bring the independence and stability of affordable housing to all New Orleanians.
“It’s inspiring to work with Covenant House,” said Pate. “We’re honored to be partnering with such an amazing group to help them expand their already considerable impact.”