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Everything changed on August 29, 2005: when the federal levee system failed during Hurricane Katrina, leaving up to 25 feet of water for three weeks across a community that once housed 19,000 people, hundreds of businesses, churches, schools – making it the worst man-made disaster in U.S. history. That was then. Today, the Lower Ninth Ward is recovering – slowly – to a bright new future of sustainable homes, neighborhoods and living.

Black and white, young and old, native or newcomer – the courageous residents of the Lower 9th Ward share a common spirit, a drive, to make their lives and the community whole again. Yet more than that, it’s about a right to return. To participate fully through schools, churches, small businesses and other institutions. And to thrive again as a unique place within New Orleans’ own unique blend of culture, food, music, art and commerce. To date, only a third of the Lower 9’s pre-Katrina population have been able to move back into their homes and neighborhoods after Hurricanes Katrina & Rita. Lot after empty lot still stretches across the northern part of this historic community. Corner stores, community centers – mostly gone. There are still no fire stations or pharmacies or banks. Only memories and – slowly, steadily – progress, as one more church reopens. A new arts center. Another house completed at Make It Right, a homeowner for Global Green’s Holy Cross Project, a new business along St. Claude.

Life in the Nine may never be the same, but something very special is happening here. A renewed sense of community, history & culture. Families rediscovering the joy of outdoor markets or biking, views over the bayou or walking along the Mississippi River Levee. The Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development continues to serve all our residents and their changing needs – made possible only by honoring their stories and neighborhoods, the only place within the City of New Orleans the connects river and bayou.

Experience the 9 with us!