Habitat Omaha’s NR program is currently working within the communities of Miller Park, Minne Lusa, and Belvedere to deliver a full set of programs including: new home construction, critical home repairs and renovations, demolitions and neighborhood beautification projects. The organization also uses data collection and coalition building to help transform and strengthen these neighborhoods.
One aspect of the NR program that is integral yet difficult to measure is community building. The NR program fosters this in a variety of ways, starting with addressing the specific needs of a neighborhood. Corine Sawadogo recently stepped into a newly created position as the Neighborhood Revitalization Manager and works within the program’s focus communities.
Part of her role has been to get out in the community and listen. By working with neighborhood associations and community ambassadors she learns what work is needed and how Habitat Omaha can provide valuable support and resources. “I go in to talk with existing stakeholders and find out what their dreams are for the neighborhood,” says Sawadogo, “From there, we look at the area and help determine what needs the most help.”
Sawadago has seen progress since she started her work less than one year ago. “People stop me on the street to share their concerns,” she says, “the fact that they can identify me and feel comfortable telling me what they’d like to see means we’ve created a funnel for information to be shared.”