New Orleans Needs You!
We specialize in providing hands-on learning experiences to young people interested in learning about construction, leadership development, financial literacy, homeownership, and more. Whether you are looking for a fun and meaningful community service experience or an educational service learning opportunity we will work with you to customize the event.
Our projects vary in size and scope but do not require any trade skills. We are happy to accommodate local and out of state groups that are looking for a meaningful volunteer work experience. If you would like to volunteer with us or schedule a date please contact us for more information.
A traditional day’s work can include the following: demolition, painting, landscaping, tiling, light construction, framing, sheet-rocking, floating, etc. The projects assigned are also determined by skill level. Though there are many ailing urban centers in the U.S., if you want non-bureaucratic, hands-on, volunteer work, New Orleans could use it.
All Inclusive Trips
We are pleased to offer all-inclusive service learning trips for groups of up to 30 people! YRNO works with groups who stay in our volunteer bunkhouse to plan experiential learning activities, museums, tours and meals.
Learn Life Skills
At YRNO, we prioritize educating and empowering youth to build hope for the future. We specialize in providing hands-on learning experiences to young people interested in learning about construction, leadership development, financial literacy, homeownership, and more. Whether you are looking for a fun and meaningful community service experience or an educational service learning opportunity, we will work with you to customize the experience.
Our projects vary in size and scope but do not require any trade skills. We are happy to accommodate local and out of state groups looking for a meaningful volunteer work experience. If you would like to volunteer with us or schedule a date please contact us for more information.
A traditional day’s work can include the following: demolition, painting, landscaping, tiling, light construction, framing, sheet-rocking, floating, etc. The projects assigned are also determined by skill level. Though there are many urban centers in the U.S. that need support, if you want non-bureaucratic, hands-on, volunteer work, New Orleans could use your help and is ready to welcome you with open arms!
Building long term financial security for individuals and our communities requires financial literacy training, essential education that contemporary school systems do not always provide. From building credit & managing budgets to financing & maintaining homes, YRNO offers workshops, one-on-one training, and a variety of resources to support financial literacy in our community. Learning to create financial security builds the hope and confidence necessary to dream big for the future.
We care about the well-being of our community, near and far. YRNO provides mental health resources via contracted mental health professionals for our REbuild program participants and benefactors through mentorship and council.
For our program participants, we are a conversation facilitator and listening ear for real world issues they face on a daily basis. We host open discussions for youth to explore their own opinions and receive support, while providing a safe space to work and build lasting relationships.
Our homeownership assistance programming provides affordable housing to the true heroes of our neighborhoods including teachers, first responders, and medical workers - brave and generous professionals who need mental health support from their strenuous and important work.
Working on a team to build a home from the ground up teaches more than construction skills. Communication, planning, and collaboration make up a huge part of how a project reaches successful completion. REbuild program participants and volunteers practice timeliness, professionalism, and attention to detail while working with others to construct affordable housing and build hope in New Orleans neighborhoods.
Guest speakers visit our team, local clubs, and REbuild program to share knowledge and experience from the working world, as well as expose youth to different career pathways.
Social Justice Awareness
Through all of our community engagements, YRNO strives to advocate for equity and raise awareness for social justice issues. From police brutality to green infrastructure to the polarity of our political system, we actively engage in conversations around equity online and in-person, in addition to our community service and outreach.
Beyond providing affordable homeownership opportunities, we advocate against gentrification within the community, on our blog, and in our partnerships. Through our financial literacy training, we help teach marginalized people how to fight against sanctions placed on their homes that might displace them.
YRNO often invites speakers from IPrevent and Volunteers of America SELA to give sex education seminars quarterly. Each seminar is based on informative, prevention, and best practice approaches.
"I’m so blessed to have gotten the chance to work with you guys. I had a great experience and it’s something I’ll never forget."
"What a memory…I hope to see you again next year, thank you so much."
"My volunteer experience was amazing, and I learned many new things, such as operating power tools and drywalling. It was very exciting to work at this site, gain knowledge of New Orleans, and help the community!"
What People Are Saying
Should I bring food or water?Yes. You must bring your own lunch to the site, or make similar arrangements. Water will be provided on-site through a daily refilled cooler, but you must bring a water bottle with you to fill up during the day.
What about lunch?Lunch is 30 minutes long and usually around 11:30 or 12:00. YRNO asks that volunteer groups provide their own lunches. Most of our worksites are located near eateries, so let our site supervisors know in advance if you have to make a fast trip. Trips to get food are included in your 30 minute time window.
What do I wear?Footwear needs to be a sturdy, closed-toe, and closed-heel shoe. Boots or sneakers are both considered appropriate footwear. Please prepare for the weather by checking the forecast before you arrive at the worksite. If it is sunny, we recommend bringing a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. If it is raining, please bring a jacket, raincoat, and/or rain boots. Please ensure that your clothing is modest. T-shirts and shorts are acceptable but please ensure that they are not too tight, too short, and/or have inappropriate writing or imagery. Bring your own personal face mask. If you need a mask, we will provide one; however, inform us ahead of time.
Other than the bunkhouse, where else should I stay?The French Quarter and Central Business district are convenient, central locations for visitors. In addition, the Quarter is home to numerous restaurants and hotels where you can experience New Orleans culture. Contact us for our recommendations.
How large of a volunteer group can YRNO host?We can host a maximum of 25 volunteers per worksite. Please contact us for any inquiries about the number of worksites we have available before signing up a large group.
May I work even though I have some physical limitations? What if I have allergies/asthma?Yes! There are a number of tasks that do not involve strenuous labor. Please advise the YRNO staff you are working with limitations, so we can accommodate your needs. You should take into account the humidity, heat, and abundance of plant life as we build our homes outdoors. Bring your medication with you and be sure to take breaks when necessary. If any allergies, such as seasonal or asthma, conflict in some way with our COVID-19 symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, swelling eyes, etc, let our site supervisors know immediately to avoid any scares or confusion.
Should I bring my own tools?It is not necessary to bring any tools; however, if you wish to bring your own tools, you are welcome to. Items that are especially useful are a tool belt, hammer, measuring tape, pencil, razor knife, cat/bear claw, etc.
What goes on at the worksite?Homes are at all stages of the construction process, so can expect to work at any of them. We build houses from the ground up, or completely renovate a new foundation. Tasks on the construction site fluctuate depending on need, weather, etc. You will be assigned to a task every morning.
Where can I find more resources on first-time homebuyer programs?Please visit the City of New Orleans Website or GNO Info or NHS Nola.
If I volunteer with a group, will we all be able to work together?To ensure a quality experience for our volunteers, we will assign no more than 12 volunteers to a specific worksite. Groups with more than 12 members should anticipate working on multiple houses and/or sites. This all depends on what will be currently doing for that project. To maintain social distancing with a group of 12 or more, we will spread your group thinly to smaller groups of 3-to-4 among the worksite. Of course, we will do our best to keep your group as close as possible safely.
Does YRNO provide housing accommodations?YRNO has a bunkhouse that is particularly suitable for groups up to 34. Contact us for availability and cost. We can also refer you to several of our community housing partners. Accommodations range from $45/person/night, and availability varies by housing facility.
Does Youth Rebuilding New Orleans provide transportation, food, and lodging?It is the responsibility of the volunteer to arrange their own travel, food, and housing accommodation; however, we can recommend options to groups looking for services, including our bunkhouse.
What if the weather is bad?Work will continue on-site unless determined otherwise by the staff. It is very rare that a workday is ever canceled. If a workday is canceled, it will be announced that morning at the worksite, and contact you or a group leader.
Is there any paperwork?Yes. All volunteers will need to sign or submit online a waiver, “Volunteer Agreement and Release,” and bring it with you to the worksite. For anyone under 18, parents/guardians must sign it.
Where do I report to in the morning?You will receive an email prior to your work date to reconfirm your date and your total volunteer number.
Do I have to go to an orientation/training?No. You will receive a short 15-minute orientation and safety talk once you arrive on the worksite. In addition, you will receive on-site training/tutorials on tasks that you are assigned for the day. Your assigned meeting place for this safety briefing may not be your worksite location, although it will be in the same neighborhood as the worksite. Please be prepared to drive to your worksite after the briefing if need be.
Does YRNO require a volunteer fee?Volunteering with YRNO DOES require a fee. $20 per person per day. This money is used to cover the costs associated with coordinating your trip, training and supervising your volunteer group, purchasing the materials, and maintaining our tool inventory.
What should a YRNO volunteer wear to a work site?Paint, sheet-rock mud, and other messy jobs can permanently ruin clothing so please wear clothing that you are not afraid to get dirty or damaged.Closed-toed shoes are mandatory, while long pants and sleeves are recommended. Most importantly, volunteers are required to wear masks and gloves due to COVID-19. We will provide gloves and masks if need be, but we prefer you bring your own masks. Possibly even gloves, although we do have ours sanitized before and after the workday.
Does YRNO have an age requirement for volunteers?No; although most of our volunteers are typically in high school and college, we can make exceptions for students younger than 16 to participate with parental supervision. Of course, always get in contact with us before signing up. All volunteers must sign a waiver and those under 18 must have it signed by a parent or guardian. Younger student groups are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Is it safe? Is it safe?People should use their best judgment and their instincts. Please keep valuable items at home. If you are afraid of COVID-19 chances, we can ensure that our site is safe; however, if you can’t make it due to that, let us know in advance.
What if I need to cancel my work dates?If for some reason you need to cancel your volunteer commitment, please contact us as soon as possible at email@example.com. What if I have trouble registering on the website or additional questions? Please call us at 504-264-3344 and we will assist you.
Do I need experience?No. Volunteers with all levels of experience are invited to volunteer with us.
How old do I have to be to volunteer?Children under the age of 15 are not permitted at a worksite while construction is ongoing without being accompanied by an adult that is at least 21 years of age. Volunteers ages 16 and 17 are allowed to participate in construction work, including general carpentry, but will not be allowed to participate in excavation, demolition, use of power tools, or work at heights above 12 feet. All volunteers under the age of 18 must have their “Volunteer Agreement and Release” signed by a parent.
What are the COVID-19 guidelines?All volunteers are required to wear face masks, gloves, and to maintain social distancing of 6 feet apart. If social distancing can not be maintained during a specific task, staying at arm’s length away is also fine. We understand working long periods of time with a mask 24/7 is hard, but random removal of masks is unacceptable. If you need a quick breather, ask a site supervisor to let you go a set distance from everybody so you can take your mask off for a second. Constant sanitation before, during, and after working is required. We have our own hand sanitizer on site, but you are more than welcome to bring your own sanitizer as long as it is branded with “kills 99.9% germ/bacteria” and doesn’t emit any distracting smells. Even if you have a vaccine, you are still mandated to follow these guidelines. Failure to comply with these rules, essentially voiding your signed contract, will result in being unable to work that day.