Today my wife, Brenda, and I will be in New Orleans.
The purpose of the trip is to survey current conditions, link up with old and new friends and attempt to judge whether or not there is something Central Dallas Ministries can or should do there.
CDM operates in San Antonio as Urban Connection San Antonio. Our efforts there have been encouraging, thanks to the leadership provided by our "on-the-ground" director of operations, Leslie Kelsie-Grubbs. The center of our activity there is based in a public housing development.
Wayne and Ann Arnold, our dear friends in New Orleans, have lived in the city for well over 40 years. Somehow one of their rental properties survived Katrina. It now serves as a neighborhood "oasis" of sorts for anyone who shows up.
Another friend, Nate Jones, a fellow Tulane University alumnus, had begun an urban outreach in the Bywater area of the city, very near the lower 9th Ward several years ago. I am eager to talk with him.
We hope to hook up with these wonderful folks and see what might happen.
I can remember well walking through the poorest neighborhoods in New Orleans when we were there (1975-1980) with my friend, Jesse Lawrence. Jesse knew "the projects" like the back of his hand. After all, he grew up living there. We would spend hours walking from apartment to apartment, talking to folks and trying to figure out what could be done from a church base like ours with the amazing folks we were meeting. One of my chief regrets in leaving New Orleans to return to Dallas was the unfinished business that Jesse and I had only begun.
Think of us today.
I know it will be hard returning to the special city we called home for several years and seeing it in such disarray.
Somehow, I know there is something for us to do in New Orleans.
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Larry James' Urban Daily
A repository of ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States and how mainstream America largely forgets or, worse, ignores the day-to-day realities of urban life for the so-called "poor." Written and edited by the President & CEO of CitySquare. Please visit CitySquare.
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