In this third of a three-part series, Kaid Benfield looks at the groups that are helping repopulate and revive neighborhoods.
"To say the least, this has not been a large-scale and highly coordinated effort, and certainly not a quick one. But it is perhaps even more impressive that it has been happening in small increments, a house at a time, occasionally an enclave at a time, because of determined residents, often with the assistance of grassroots charities and volunteers. I want to stress the "grassroots" part of this: the more locally based the effort, the more likely the product will be true to the character of the city and the people who make it special.
One of the local organizations that has stepped up big-time is the Preservation Resource Center, a longstanding group whose mission is to promote the preservation, restoration, and revitalization of New Orleans' historic architecture and neighborhoods. The PRC's web site asserts that, "in post-Katrina New Orleans, it is particularly crucial that we rebuild in a way that is sensitive to our past, or we risk losing everything that makes our city unique." That rings true for me. The PRC says that, since Katrina, it has assisted over 5,000 families in saving their homes and brought over 100 low income families back to their homes. "