Community Renewal International Changing Lives Through Relationships

Opportunity Nation is proud of its diverse multi-sector coalition, which is committed to expanding opportunity and economic mobility for all Americans. In the weeks and months ahead, coalition organizations will be featured here on our blog to showcase the impact they make every day and highlight why they are a part of this campaign. Below you can learn more about the work of our partner Community Renewal International, whose relational model is bringing together caring partners to transform communities.

Pam Morgan walked the streets of Shreveport’s impoverished Allendale neighborhood, searching for drugs, seeking the next high that would deaden the open wounds in her life.

“I had no hope at all,” she said.

Today Pam and many others do have hope, do have purpose, because of the life-changing impact of Community Renewal International, a Shreveport, La.-based nonprofit whose work is gradually moving across the nation.

Community Renewal brings together caring partners to make our world a home where every single child is safe and loved. In neighborhoods where  violence and fear once reigned, there is now safety and trust. Playgrounds are replacing battlegrounds. Former gang members and drug addicts are renewing their lives, returning to school and giving back to the community instead of taking from it.

Since its founding in 1994, Community Renewal has touched the lives of more than 2,700 at-risk youth who have come through their doors. More than 48,000 people have joined the We Care team and more than 1,100 have been trained to serve as Haven House leaders who help renew the city one neighbor and one city block at a time.

“Many people have had their dreams crushed and through the power of friendship we give them the courage to dream again,” said Community Renewal Founder and Coordinator Mack McCarter.

Communities are revitalized through three strategies: the Renewal Team, which connects individuals, businesses, churches and others to create a more caring community; Haven House, which enlists residents to reach out to neighbors on the street where they live; and Friendship House, which brings hope to long-neglected neighborhoods struggling with crime, drugs and unemployment.

Unique in its approach to help at-risk youth and families, Community Renewal does more than just visit struggling inner-city neighborhoods. Community Renewal takes up residence as a caring neighbor, earns the trust of residents and becomes a light on a hill.

Success stories like Pam Morgan’s are proof of that. One of Pam’s top goals now is to strengthen families, involve parents in their children’s activities and show the same love that helped change her life.

“I love to encourage people and do for others what people have done for me. I do it every single day, even with people I don’t Know. I have the heart now to help anybody,” she said.

Pam says her neighbors are not the only ones surprised by her new attitude. She’s surprised herself, too.

“I’m amazed I am doing this. Before, I never spoke to my neighbors. This wasn’t my thing to do. I cared about me, my four and no more,” she says.

“I’ve seen myself grow in a lot of ways and I’ve overcome a lot of things. I am a brand new woman.”

For more information about Community Renewal and how you can support this outreach and help it grow, go to

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