Nine-year-old Landen Legrand couldn’t stop smiling at this summer’s groundbreaking for a new Community Renewal Friendship House.
“This is exciting for us and for Mrs. Sandra,” he said. “I like it here. I feel happy here.”
The new Friendship House in Shreveport’s Highland neighborhood will replace a too-small house that has been in use for 18 years. Construction funds are provided by the annual House for Hope project.
“This is so uplifting for this neighborhood and will mean a higher level of excellence for our work,” said Highland Community Coordinator Sandra Simpson, who has encouraged, inspired and motivated more than 600 children at the Friendship House since the doors opened in 1997.
A Friendship House is like a community center in a home, reaching out to at-risk youth and families with after-school programs, community service projects and activities that build positive relationships among family members and neighbors. The proven impact of a Friendship House ranges from major improvements in education to significant reductions in crime: Major crime in Shreveport’s four Friendship House neighborhoods has dropped by an average of 50 percent.
“The heart of our city is the Highland neighborhood. this is just so wonderful to build a new Friendship House for the renewal of one of Shreveport’s oldest and finest neighborhoods,” said CRI Founder Mack McCarter.