Neighborhood Beautification

New Orleans is known for its picturesque neighborhoods. Our architecture has inspired timeless works of art, music, literature and more. These organizations will show you how to help revive the charm of our unique homes and historic landmarks that make this city a hub of cultural innovation.

Build Now

Contact: Jaclyn Hill

Build Now, a non-profit homebuilder, works with families who face the challenges of rebuilding in New Orleans. The non-profit has carved out a unique niche that focuses on prestorm homeowners who want to rebuild. Since its inception, Build Now has helped residents return home in Gentilly, the 9th Ward, Lakeview, Hollygrove, Chalmette and Central City. Build Now's mission is to empower each neighborhoods original residents to return home to regain and maintain their vitality and culture. The non-profit provides an alternative to substantial renovations of modular homes by designing and constructing site-built, elevated homes that reflect the traditional style and quality of New Orleans architecture. Build Now is seeking to partner with visiting conventions to grow the Build Now Gap Fund, which seals the gaps in financing that many families encounter during the rebuilding process. Build Nows Foundation of Hope campaign allows people to donate funds that will serve as the foundation of a familys new home in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Catholic Charities

Contact: Shannon Murphy, Director of Volunteers

This multi- faceted organization serves a variety of organizations and needs, including response
and recovery, housing, healthcare and education. Volunteer opportunities range from ½ day activities to 2 day opportunities, from assisting at Second Harvesters Food Bank to helping repaint and repair a person's home damaged from Katrina.

Catholic Charities Operation Helping Hands

Contact: Bethany Billman, Volunteer Coordinator
504-210-7538 (cell), 504-324-4318 x230 (direct);

Since November 2005, Operation Helping Hands has brought more than 25,500 volunteers to gut
and rebuild homes devastated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The goal of Operation Helping
Hands is to provide elderly, disabled and/or low-income homeowners safe, secure and functional
housing as efficiently and affordably as possible. Due to the overwhelming response we've had
from volunteers across the country, Operation Helping Hands has gutted over 1,900 homes,
rebuilt over 150 and painted over 400.
We are always looking for volunteers to work with our rebuilding and exterior paint programs.
Our work varies week by week, but can include hanging and finishing drywall, tiling, laying
laminate floor, installing trim, exterior painting and basic carpentry.

  • We welcome skilled volunteers, but we are happy work with those from all backgrounds.
  • All volunteers must be 16 years of age.
  • All volunteers must provide their own transportation to and from the work site.
  • We accept both individual volunteers and groups.
  • For groups interested in spending a week working with our program, we can offer
    housing and meals for $50/person/day.

For those who may be in town on vacation or for a convention, we're happy to work with
you for a single day (or two). Please note that due to the set up required on many of our
sites, we aren't able to offer ½ days. Our hours are Monday - Friday, from 7:45AM -
4PM, with some additional Saturday work days.

Green Light New Orleans

Contact: Rebecca FIsher-McGinty

Green Light New Orleans is dedicated to increasing energy efficiency and sustainable living throughout the city of New Orleans. We demonstrate that a single action can lead to big changes that benefit everyone if that action is repeated many times by many people. Since our start in 2006, we have worked with thousands of volunteers from around the country, ranging in age from elementary school to retirement. Green Light New Orleans volunteers have....

  • Installed 370,000 free energy efficient light bulbs in 17,000 homes
  • Saved participants $17 million in utility costs and reduced the region's carbon footprint by 170 million pounds of CO2
  • Established 64 backyard gardens and 1 community garden

Free Energy Efficient Light Bulb Program

  • Install energy efficient light bulbs for local residents
  • Lower utility costs and keep money in residents' pockets on a monthly basis
  • Help the environment by reducing the carbon footprint of the region

Community Connection

Experience first-hand what makes New Orleans great, and join forces with residents to create an impact in their homes

Tip the Block Program

Build on a growing sustainability movement by taking action on four core issues:

  • Energy: Provide sustainable, energy saving solutions for residents with free energy efficient light bulbs and in-person information
  • Food: Build backyard vegetable gardens to provide cheap and healthy food
  • Water: Clean and mark storm drains to reduce floodwater and pollution
  • People: Work directly with residents to meet their sustainability goals
    Any size group can help. We have recently worked with the following groups:
    • ELCA 2012 Youth Gathering - 2,400 volunteers
    • AARP National Convention- 400 volunteers
    • Entergy Inc. -70 volunteers

    Green Light New Orleans encourages individuals to take action to change the way we use limited natural resources and to increase the sustainability of New Orleans residents so that everybody can benefit from a vibrant, resilient, and sustainable community. Whether you're in town for a day or a month, for business or for pleasure, you can have a direct positive impact on New Orleans by signing up to volunteer with Green Light New Orleans.

    For more information on how you can get involved with Green Light New Orleans during your trip, visit their voluntourism guide.

    New Orleans Area Habitat For Humanity

    Contact: Jenna Mitchell Turnage 

    New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH) builds houses in partnership with sponsors, volunteers, and partner families to eliminate poverty housing in the New Orleans area while serving as a catalyst to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. NOAHH was founded in 1983 and has provided assistance to over 3,000 homeowners through new construction, repairs and gutting. NOAHH welcomes volunteers daily, Tuesday through Saturday, and offers a turn-key volunteer opportunity for all groups. The affiliate has experience in deploying upwards of 3,000 volunteers daily for a single work project as well as identifying key opportunities for volunteers of all ages and skillsets. The affiliate has welcomed volunteer groups from Whirlpool, Anheuser-Busch, Home Depot, Shell, National Association of Realtors, Circle K, Alpha Kappa Alpha. Whether it is a social, military, educational, fraternal or association meeting, NOAHH can provide a well-planned volunteer experience.

    • Work day begins at 7:45 a.m. with a worksite introduction, includes a break for lunch and ends at 3:30 p.m. with clean up lasting until 4:00 p.m. All equipment is provided by NOAHH.
    • Each volunteer group must provide lunch (catering recommendations available) and transportation to and from the worksite.
    • NOAHH can assist with ordering team t-shirts as well as coordinate any media opportunities.
    • NOAHH can work with large sized groups for any length of time.
    • No building activity on Sunday or Monday.
    • Cost is a minimum of $50 per volunteer, to cover equipment and volunteer insurance.

    Preservation Resource Center's Rebuilding Together New Orleans

    Contact: Gabriel Sneller

    Rebuilding Together New Orleans (RTNO) is a program of the Preservation Resource Center and has been revitalizing homes and communities in New Orleans for 24 years. RTNO's mission is to preserve and revitalize houses and communities, assuring that low-income homeowners, particularly those who are elderly, disabled, single-guardians, and first responders can live in warmth, safety, and independence. In partnership with communities, our goal is to make a sustainable impact. We currently work in seven different neighborhoods including: St. Roch, Broadmoor, Holy Cross, Treme, Hollygrove, Mid-City, and Gentilly.
    RTNO does not do new construction; it is all rehabilitation of pre-existing homes damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

    RTNO has experience working with individuals and groups of all sizes, from all backgrounds, with varying degrees of skills. Please note that all volunteers must be over the age of 18 to participate. Groups are responsible for housing, meals, and transportation to and from the work site. A typical work week is Monday-Thursday from 8:30 AM-4:00 PM. We prefer that you make at least a 2-day commitment to volunteer. Flexible opportunities are available; please contact the Volunteer Coordinator for more information.

    Groups larger than 10 people may be placed on two or more worksites. The type of work performed by volunteers varies widely according to the workscope of the house. The jobs may consist of interior or exterior painting, laying flooring, light carpentry or landscaping, to name a few.

    Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator for more information on the volunteer management fee; this may vary based on the size and scope of the group. This fee supports the costs of build materials, safety equipment, insurance for the overall project, port-o-lets, transportation of materials and RTNO staff to and from the worksite, etc. This fee also includes a RTNO t-shirt.

    SBP (Formerly St. Bernard Project)

    Contact: St. Bernard Project's Volunteer Department

    St. Bernard Project (SBP) is an innovative, award-winning non-profit serving vulnerable families, senior citizens and disabled residents struggling to recover from the devastation and trauma caused by natural, economic and man-made disasters. Over 40,000 SBP volunteers have rebuilt 430+ houses for hard-working American families. Our work is recognized by The White House, US News and World Report and Co-Founder Liz McCartney is 2008 CNN Hero of the Year. Partnerships with major organizations, including Toyota, UPS, Zurich, Cisco and the United Way of Greater New Orleans get families home faster and more efficiently through volunteerism, funding, and providing skill-based labor.

    SBP offers turnkey, fully customizable volunteer experiences to meet the needs and goals of today's conventioneers. We provide all of the tools and coordination necessary to rebuild client-owned homes, and no construction skills are necessary. Volunteers are well supervised by AmeriCorps members who are on site at all times to oversee construction, answer questions and provide a background about SBP and our homeowners.

    The experience builds camaraderie, increases community awareness and has an immediate impact on New Orleans. Your volunteerism and investment in SBP will have a substantial affect on this city, and we guarantee that we'll make a mark on your life, too: "You will feel great walking way knowing that you made an impact on families in New Orleans who will finally be able to celebrate their next birthday and anniversary in the comfort of their own home for the first time in nearly seven years." - Zack Rosenburg, CEO and Co-Founder.

    The Phoenix of New Orleans (PNOLA)

    Contact: Andrea Blumenstein, Outreach Coordinator

    The Phoenix of New Orleans (PNOLA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the
    recovery of the residents of Lower Mid-City New Orleans and the surrounding neighborhoods by
    rebuilding quality affordable housing and by developing the community assets necessary for a
    vital neighborhood.

    United Saints Recovery Project

    Contact: Daryl Kiesow

    The United Saints Recovery Project is a grassroots, 501c3 rebuilding organization located in Central City, New Orleans. We assist economically disadvantaged homeowners in rebuilding their homes that were either damaged by the hurricanes and/or blight. We welcome volunteers of any skill level.

    Volunteer work would consist of painting and/or light construction. We can accommodate small and large groups and can organize half day, full day, and weeklong projects. We also have volunteer housing available for individuals and groups up to 85. Please contact us for additional information and rates.

    The United Saints provides:

    • Project coordination
    • Tools and equipment
    • Experienced team leaders
    • Orientation and safety training

      unCommon Construction

      Contact: Stephen Barkan, Programs Associate & Volunteer Coordinator 

      unCommon Construction is a nonprofit that uses the build process to enhance learning and empower youth to lead the workforce after high school or college. Since it's founding in 2015, unCommon Construction has hired more than 40 students through it's selective apprenticeship program, in which students from different high schools join a diverse team to earn hourly pay and school credit for building a house in a semester. In the process, youth gain technical skills and transferrable experience in a real world learning environment.

      Volunteer days with unCommon Construction are high-energy, impactful experiences in which volunteers spend the day building alongside and under the leadership of New Orleans high school students. Together, Apprentices and volunteers complete a full phase of construction over the course of the day. Your volunteerism empowers Apprentices to lead and learn while creating a tangible, collective impact on their futures and communities. During the lunch break, volunteers participate in various structured and informal activities with Apprentices, for the benefit of their experience and to further engage with youth.

      Volunteer day details:

      • Volunteers stay on site from 8:30-4:00pm
      • uCC provides all tools and equipment
      • No prior construction experience is required or expected
      • Volunteers will be trained and supervised on site by uCC's skilled staff and Apprentices
      • uCC can accommodate large groups of up to 40 volunteers
      • All volunteers must be at least 16 years of age
      • Volunteers are asked to stay on site for the duration of the day, including joining Apprentices for lunch
      • Groups can coordinate a catered boxed lunch with the organization or can bring their own.

      Learn more through a short videovolunteer FAQ, or recent media here.