Community Renewal International connects neighbors and neighborhoods to restore the foundation of safe and caring communities.
Why connection is needed more than ever
Community Renewal International’s approach to healing our fracturing social network is a response to the concerns and questions of historians such as Toynbee who, in his exhaustive study of human civilization, has noted that 27 major civilizations have risen and collapsed. We are in the 28th and the signs, as noted by Mr. Putnam, are not good. However Arnold Toynbee also identified something of deep value in his research. He noted that “society is a system of relationships.” Which was an ‘ah ha’ moment for our founder, who had been healing relationships in his work as a pastor for decades. That ‘ah ha’ moment was the birth of Community Renewal International, launching a new approach to community development and societal structure.
Community Renewal International began in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1994. In this metro area of approximately 300,000 people, as in most cities, you find a wide array of socio-economic class, race, religion, and diversity.
All CRI programs are designed to build and sustain a solid foundation of relationships, on which everything else in life and community stands. From these underlying principles, we focus on three primary initiatives – Renewal Team, Haven House and Friendship House. As a result, in Shreveport/Bossier City, major crime is down over 45% in the 5 Friendship House target areas; over 1,500 Haven House neighborhood block leaders have been trained and over 50,000 people have joined the “We Care” Renewal Team. People from all walks of life are connecting, discovering new meaning and purpose, and working together for a better community.
The work of CRI is no secret. Among many distinguished visitors to our neighborhoods we proudly count President Jimmy Carter and the CBS Sunday Morning news team.
We began the development of this social technology with five core questions:
– What kind of WORLD do we need?
– What kind of SOCIETY creates that world?
– What kind of PERSON creates that society?
– What kind of ENVIRONMENT creates that person?
– What do we have to DO to create that environment?
From this query Community Renewal actualized a model to intentionally and systematically connect what we all share – our capacity to care.
Caring together forms a new community asset, the relational foundation, from which we grow to our potential wholeness, individually and collectively.
Trust, diversity & creative emergence are notable characteristics of networks that connect caring relationships across all lines of difference.
CRI model provides custom pathways for willing individuals to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in community.
Community Renewal International offers a WORKING MODEL which systematically initiates, grows, and sustains safe and caring communities
with concrete, measurable results.
This model has been replicated in the following communities and educational institutions:
Community Renewal Pottawatomie County (Shawnee, OK)
We Care Palestine, Texas
Community Renewal Greater Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN)
Community Renewal Lawton, Oklahoma
Community Renewal Austin, Texas
Community Renewal Birmingham, Alabama
Community Renewal Ringgold, Louisiana
Community Renewal Cameroon, Africa
Community Renewal Nigeria, Africa
University Elementary School (Shreveport, LA) – Pilot “We Care School”
Community Renewal at TCU (Fort Worth, TX)
Our Three Pronged Strategy
The Renewal Team works citywide to unite individuals, businesses, civic groups, faith groups and others as caring partners building a stronger city.
Haven House volunteers unite neighbors on the block where they live turning neighborhoods into safe havens of friendship and support.
These are homes built in vulnerable neighborhoods and lived in by CRI staff that help transform these neighborhoods into places of safety and hope.
Our Leadership Team in the Capital Area
We have put together a strong team of devoted and talented individuals to initiate the work in the Capital area. We invite you to get to know each of them.
What We Will Do Together
There is no question that our world needs to change. The way in which we are confronting one another has become divisive and destructive. But it can change – if we work together intentionally. Random acts of kindness are great to celebrate when we see them, but they are not enough to change the relational dynamics of our city. We can’t do this alone, we can only do it together. This is the basic premise of Community Renewal International and the work that will take place in the Capital Area of DC. If you want to see this change, we invite you to be a part of it. Creating healthy, loving relationships is fun, joyful, uplifting. Isn’t it time we all moved toward creating more of that in our life and the life of our neighbors? Here’s what we will do together. Join us.