Elan Ministries, Inc. is a non-profit organization based in New Orleans, LA. Founded by Rev. Teresa J. Reiger in 2003, Elan functioned as an urban ministry internship program until Hurricane Katrina hit in summer of 2005. Volunteers flooded the city to assist with cleanup and rebuilding, and Elan welcomed them as a host, offering meals cooked on Coleman stoves and connections with folks in the community in need of assistance. As our buildings were repaired and re-opened for business, Elan began offering lodging as well and the operation became an official branch of the ministry in 2007 as HisHands2Go. This branch is still going strong in 2016 as we continue to host volunteers year-round and facilitate a memorable experience of serving others.
During the initial season of hurricane relief, a few significant events took place: 1) the staff of Elan continued to work towards the status of official "non-profit organization", achieving this goal in June 2009; 2) the Spirit of Praise Assembly of God church, unable to continue after the hurricane, donated its property on Marais St. to Elan. Prior to its function as a church, the building on Marais was a warehouse and became so again after being gutted out post-flood. Excited about the possibilities for the community surrounding our new property, the staff of Elan carefully considered and diligently prayed about the future function of the property, finally settling on the use of the land for a neighborhood garden and the building as a hub for community gatherings and functions. A second branch, Garden on Marais, was established in 2010 and is now flourishing with produce and flowers. In addition, the Garden launched its 4-H Kids Club in 2015, dedicated to educating our young folks in urban farming practices, proper nutrition habits, and creation care.
The most recent, exciting endeavor we are undertaking is that of renovating the warehouse building on Marais. This building is slated to be a gathering space for folks in the community as well as the Headquarters of Elan Ministries (The Hem). Once completed, the building will include a theater for the performing arts, capacity for lodging, and a commissary kitchen. We will post updates as the project continues to take shape and fundraising begins.