LSU Architecture Program Partners with Bethel Colony South to Open Home Repair Business by Women, for Women

Home Works, a new home repair service and training program by women and for women, opens its doors in New Orleans this weekend thanks, in large part, to efforts from the LSU School of Architecture’s Office of Community Design and Development (OCDD).

Home Works will officially open for business with an Open House this Saturday, April 25 from 11 AM – 12:30 PM at Bethel Colony South, 4114 Old Gentilly Road. There, residents from the neighborhood can meet the local women behind Home Works, who have spent the past several months learning valuable home repair and construction skills that they are ready to put to use in rebuilding New Orleans.

The program is the product of a partnership between OCDD and Bethel Colony South, a substance abuse residential recovery center. The two entities first teamed up three years ago to build houses in the flood-ravaged Lower Ninth Ward. Since then, they have collaborated on several projects, including Home Works, with support from the Foundation for the Mid South, Avon Foundation Housing Program Fund.

For LSU’s OCDD, Home Works has been a shining example of the kinds of community outreach projects that are central to its mission. More than 15 students in the School of Architecture have contributed to the project, helping create a framework for training the women who will be working with Home Works. Students have also designed an addition to the Bethel Colony facility.

The project is also significant for Bethel Colony South. Creating the Home Works business is the first step toward creating capacity for the development of a parallel women’s ministry for Bethel Colony South, which has traditionally treated only men.

“The Home Works program represents positive grassroots community development, says Marsha Cuddeback, who heads OCDD. “Building a strong and enduring relationship with a steadfast community partner has and will continue to provide our students with opportunities for active learning, undergraduate research, and civic engagement while supporting the mission and goals of Bethel Colony South.”

Bethel Colony South is directed by Pastor Melvin Jones. The Home Works program will be headed by Shonda Knight. For more information call Home Works at 504-943-6245.