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“Providence is a nonprofit real estate development organization



Terri North

Last fall, Providence Community Housing and Columbia Residential

operating in a for-profit world,” says Providence Community Housing

opened Sacred Heart at St. Bernard, a redevelopment of the former Sacred Heart

President and CEO Terri North. “While other companies certainly do good

Church with a new four-story building added to the site. Together, the community

work, the difference is in the holistic way we look at our portfolio. We’re not

now boasts 53 one- and two-bedroom apartment homes, a community living

only building homes; we’re building a better community for residents.”

room, meeting rooms, gym, andbusiness office. The community also houses 826

Terri is a founding member of the organization. She says: “I began this work 20 years ago. I was a consultant for the Archdiocese of New

New Orleans, a nonprofit youth creative writing group.   “Being able to see the positive effects on our residents makes it all

Orleans when we evacuated for Hurricane Katrina. As soon as phones were

worth it. Sometimes that can get lost because projects take a long time to

available, I got a call to get to Baton Rouge to help. In addition to housing,

come to fruition. Yet, seeing Sacred Heart at St. Bernard residents live in

the Archdiocese of New Orleans had so many things to address. In

their new homes and kids going into 826 New Orleans is very rewarding,”

conversation with Jim Kelly and Charlotte Bourgeois, I suggested the idea

says Terri. “Ensuring all New Orleanians have access to quality rental

of Providence to handle the housing side, and that’s how it was born.”

homes they can afford is central to our mission.”

As a leader in a male-dominated industry, Terri has learned to stay

In addition to her work through Providence, Terri’s passion for the

true to herself. “Working with investors and bankers that are often male,

affordable housing realm reaches both local and national levels. She is

I have learned that my leadership style is just to be me. I tried to ‘harden’

chair of the Enterprise Community Leadership Council and serves on the

myself when I took the position as CEO in 2011, but that wasn’t genuine.

Enterprise Community Partners National Board, Executive Committee of

I’m a little more casual and sometimes emotional, but I can definitely

the Board for the Louisiana Association of Affordable Housing Providers,

stand my ground and get my point across.”

and Chateau de Notre Dame Nursing Home Board of Directors. Terri is

In just 13 years, Providence has provided over 2,100 people

also a member of the Advisory Council for Urban Land Institute Louisiana.

throughout the GNO area with a quality place they can afford and has

She is a graduate of Louisiana State University and the NeighborWorks

helped 600 families realize the dream of homeownership through

Achieving Excellence Program at the John F. Kennedy School of

the purchase of their own home. Providence’s portfolio encompasses

Government at Harvard University. 

properties dedicated to seniors, to individuals and families and to artists and cultural ambassadors. To date, Providence’s major partners have included the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Enterprise Community Partners, Columbia Residential and Artspace.  52

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