Our Mission

The mission of Lower 9th Ward Neighborhood Empowerment Network Association (NENA) is to empower residents to play a vital role in our neighborhood’s redevelopment. We implement sustainable projects and programs in decent and affordable housing, economic development and education with clear community involvement and direction.
(To see The NENA Story, click on the video.)

Brief Organizational History

The Lower 9th Ward Neighborhood Empowerment Network Association (NENA) is a private, non-profit, 501(c)3 organization. The organization was founded in 2006 to assist residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina in their efforts to rebuild their homes and community. NENA focuses on community revitalization and redevelopment for the 9th Ward area of New Orleans.
Since its inception, NENA has emerged as a powerful force for positive change in the Lower 9th Ward. The organization has been successful in mobilizing residents and community programs to advocate for public and private resources to facilitate the redevelopment and revitalization of the community. Working with current and displaced residents, NENA utilizes a resident-based approach for comprehensive rebuilding.
Since its founding, NENA has steadily strengthened in organizational capacity to deliver services. With the support of generous private donors, like you, and public funding sources, such as the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC), Greater New Orleans, Foundation (GNOF) and United Way we can continue serving the community.
Of all the areas in New Orleans, Katrina perhaps had the greatest impact on the Lower 9th Ward. The neighborhood is separated from the Upper 9th and the rest of Orleans Parish by the Industrial Canal, and the multiple breaches of this levee resulted in the storm flooding the majority of the Lower 9th, sparing only a few blocks. According to the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, 5,537 housing units were destroyed or suffered major damage.

Programs and Accomplishments

Turkey Giveaway

The D.E.T. Dream Foundation’s 9th Annual Turkey Giveaway hosted by 9th Ward NENA  and sponsored by the D.E.T. Dream Foundation, Cajun Seafood, Xpress Vinyl, Aetna, & Free World Entertainment was a big success.  The event occurred on November 27, 2019 where nearly 300 needy families in the 9th Ward community received turkey, stuffing, yams and more. Thanks so much to all of the wonderful sponsors and donors that made this annual event possible. Also, special thanks to State Representative Royce Duplessis and Special Assistant Jared Green for supporting the event along with  dozens of amazing volunteers that made this event such a success.

Promoting Home Ownership

9th Ward NENA provided housing counseling and education to the citizens in the New Orleans Community. Since it’s inception, NENA’s Home Buying Program has provided services including direct housing assistance to over 5,500 clients.  However, due to recent funding and personnel changes, the Home Buying Educational classes are no longer available.

Advocacy

 NENA has partnered with local organizations and political leaders on several advocacy efforts. In 2015, the Lower 9th Ward community came together in the form of the Lower 9th Ward Collaborative to put on the Resilience Fest. The festival was for and with the citizens of the Lower 9th Ward to commemorate our loss, recognize our recovery, bring economic stimulation to our community and encourage an ongoing commitment to becoming whole again after the devastation that resulted from Hurricane Katrina. More recent community events include Super Second Saturday (Community Market at NENA), Crayon & Book Give Away Events and Community Feeding . 

Economic Development

NENA’s economic development activities have included, but are not limited to, employment and small business assistance. Lower 9th Ward NENA’s economic development strategy is the development of a commercial corridor. In October 2010, NENA completed the first phase of the Commercial Corridor Project by opening NENA’s new building, including a small business incubator. In 2015, NENA began actively supporting small lower 9th ward businesses allowing them space to vend their wares on NENA’s property and has continued to present.