Community Renewal arrived in Shreveport-Bossier a little move 20 years ago with a goal to create safer communities.
"Community Renewal just exemplifies that, it brings us all together from all walks of life. People in parts of Shreveport or Bossier would not have known about some of our inner city neighborhoods without Community Renewal," said Deidra Robertson, the director of Operation H.O.P.E., one of the programs offered at Community Renewal.
One of the ways Community Renewal does that is through Friendship Houses, a place for after-school education programs and a safe place for children to go. There are currently 5 friendship houses in Shreveport - Bossier City.
Sandra Simpson has lived in the first ever Friendship House in the Highland neighborhood for nearly 20 years.
"Community Renewal only exists because somebody decides to give money to it," said Sandra Simpson, the Highland community coordinator.
More than 400 children have passed through the Highland Friendship Houses. Many have returned as volunteers.
Right now, a brand new Friendship house is being built just a few blocks away from Simpson's home, which will give her more room to take care of the children.
"I have kids who came here 15 years ago who have seen the House for Hope commercials and say how much longer how much longer? Don't forget me! I want to be a part of that house. It's exciting for me and the whole neighborhood. It's going to be a great thing for us."
"It makes a difference. I mean crime rate goes down, young children know if they need a safe place to go, they can come here. I mean , this is a magnet for 10 blocks," said Curtis Loftin, who is building the new Highland Friendship House.
Loftin has built 4 Friendship Houses for Community Renewal. He's currently building the new house in the Highland neighborhood.
"Once Community Renewal builds a Friendship House, the neighbors start cleaning their place up, start hauling their trash off or whatever, just really refreshed. I mean, it's amazing, the difference. Until you see it it's hard to describe."
Click here for more information and to reserve your ticket online for a chance to win the House for Hope, or call (318) 797-8222.
The grand prize drawing will be December 16.