Common Ground is featured in Big Easy to Big Empty and is one of the most important and hardest working organizations in New Orleans right now. http://www.commongroundrelief.org/
Mission and Vision: Common Ground’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 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 emphasizing people working together to rebuild their lives in sustainable ways.
Background and Problem: The Common Ground Collective was established in the first week after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans. It was the first organization to open up a medical clinic in Algiers, and provide immediate assistance (food, water, supplies) to the thousands of low-income residents unable to evacuate.
The recent hurricanes not only devastated much of the city of New Orleans, they exposed long-standing injustices faced by the residents of the lower income, African American communities. It is estimated that over 275,000 housing units were destroyed and efforts to clean up, repair or open livable housing has been slow. In New Orleans Parish, nearly 40% of the community earns under $20,000 per year, and more than 70% of the households are headed by a single parent. The literacy rate in New Orleans is roughly 39%. It is critical, therefore, that the immediate needs of the community are being met while long-term strategies to stabilize the community are initiated.
Who We Are
Common Ground started with 3 volunteers and $50 dollars. We have grown to over 40 fulltime organizers and hundreds of volunteers including health care workers, community organizers, skilled laborers, techies, legal and housing rights advocates, gardeners and more. In addition to the programs below we have built alliances with other relief and community organizations, developed a network of over 700 volunteers, secured over 150 bikes for area residents and volunteers, and produced a new promotional video called “Solidarity Not Charity.”
Common Ground is in it for the long haul and we hope that you will join in efforts to ensure that historically neglected communities are able to come back together for a more just and sustainable future.