Lions Club learns about Community Renewal International


Dylan Frese, a junior mass communications major at Northwestern State University, spoke to the Lions Club Oct. 24. Currently enrolled in Comm4520: Special Problems in Communication, Frese told the Lions about the program his class is working on: Community Renewal International (CRI).

As people, neighborhoods, and communities struggle with increasing disconnect and dysfunction, CRI has pioneered a way to connect people and create safe and caring communities with measurable and transformative results.

According to Frese, kids in low income and high crime neighborhoods need someone to care about them too. With the theft, burglary and robbery rates in Natchitoches double the national average and with triple the crime rate of Ruston, Frese said it’s important to get people involved.

One way to do this, is to designate “Haven Homes,” which are seen as beacons of light near loe income and high crime areas. Haven House is a concrete strategy to take a city back, systematically, block by block. People can e-mail, text, call and fax friends and family members around the world, but often they don’t know their neighbors, who are living a few doors down. In the Haven House strategy, private citizens make friends with neighbors on their block. This facilitates neighbors to become caring friends, instead of isolated strangers – respecting, talking and walking together.

In Lions Club news, Tina Ragan was presented with a Key Award Pin, recognizing her for her sponsorship of two Lions who have remained in the club for at least a year.