The Hope Community Development Agency (Hope CDA) was created as a vehicle to rebuild to the neighborhood of East Biloxi, Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. When Katrina hit East Biloxi, Mississippi, a historically African- and Vietnamese- American community, the storm surge was 30 feet high and destroyed much of the area. The storm carried many homes out into the Gulf of Mexico, leaving only concrete slabs or cinderblock piers where the houses had stood. The Hope CDA led a community planning process to rebuild the neighborhood of East Biloxi and is now implementing the plan with the help of Alembic Community Development.
Scope of Project
In order to ensure that the longtime residents of East Biloxi had a voice in the neighborhood’s recovery, in January 2006, Hope CDA launched the first phase of the East Biloxi Community Restoration Initiative, a community planning and rehabilitation effort designed to engage the talents and perspectives of East Biloxians in the rebuilding. This first phase, undertaken by Alembic Community Development, was an intensive community outreach process designed to identify and articulate the needs, priorities, resources and ideas of community residents. The plan was an in-depth analysis of the state of housing, quality of life, public safety, economic development and education in the East Biloxi community through various outreach methods including surveys, community meetings and individual interviews.
The plan effectively translated the needs and concerns of the residents of East Biloxi into concrete goals toward which Hope CDA could work. Community outreach went a long way towards ensuring that the concerns of area residents were being adressed and that residents remained engaged in the rebuilding process.