The Lower 9th Ward and Holy Cross residents just got a new neighborhood community center.
Today, January 31, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority announced plans to transfer 5200 Dauphine Street to the Sankofa Community Development Corporation.
According to an official release, the commercial building was blighted for decades until it was restored by the Preservation Resource Center. The building was then donated to the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority by the Center.
In September of 2016, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority hosted a Request for Proposal for the ownership, operation and maintenance of the building, which was awarded to Sankofa Community Development Corporation.
Sankofa is a non-profit designed to build healthier communities by providing fresh food and community services to help challenge-stricken communities.
At the new hub, Sankofa will use the building as a community resource center for local residents, providing fresh food access, small business development, voting advocacy, art making workshops, and environmental education.
“At Sankofa we strive to build healthier communities by collaborating with other community-based organizations to empower our residents through education and intergenerational learning,” said Rashida Ferdinand, Founder and Executive Director of Sankofa Community Development Corporation, in a prepared statement.
“The Sankofa Community Resource Center will allow us to further our mission to build healthier communities by becoming an invaluable resource to our neighbors in the Holy Cross and Lower Ninth Ward.”
The new building will have co-working office spaces, W-Fi and printing access, and multiple private meeting places.
Over the past 9 years, Sankofa has served over 6,500 shoppers, developed over 30,000 square feet of urban farms, and has supplied over 100 hours of cooking classes.
Sankofa will work alongside several organizations, including Second Harvest Food Bank, Baptist Community Clinic and Big 9 Social Aid and Pleasure Club to guide future building operations and community use.