Elan Ministries, Inc. is a non-profit organization based in New Orleans, LA. Founded by Rev. Teresa J. Reiger, our story began in 2003 as an urban ministry internship program. The core function of Elan shifted in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc along the Gulf Coast. As a result, an unprecedented number of volunteers filled the city to assist with cleanup and rebuilding efforts, and Elan welcomed them as a host by offering meals cooked on Coleman stoves and connecting volunteers with folks in the community in need of assistance. As volunteers continued to come to New Orleans on mission trips, Elan formalized the volunteer-hosting operation and established HisHands2Go in 2007. HisHands2Go continues to host volunteers and facilitate community development projects in the greater New Orleans area.
During the initial season of hurricane relief, a property on Marais St. was gifted to Elan Ministries. The property hosts a 5,000 sq. ft. warehouse building on a 1/4 acre plot of land. After carefully considering and praying about the future function of the property, our staff settled on the use of the land for a neighborhood garden and the building as the future home for Elan Ministries. In 2010, Elan established Garden on Marais on the property, now a fully functioning urban farm. One of Garden on Marais’ primary functions is the weekly 4-H Kids Club launched in 2015, dedicated to educating our young folks in urban farming practices, proper nutrition habits, and creation care.
Our most recent and exciting endeavor is that of renovating the warehouse building on the Marais property. This building is slated to be a gathering space for folks in the community as well as the future Home of Elan Ministries (The HEM). Once completed, the building will include a theater for the performing arts, capacity for lodging, office space, and a commissary kitchen.