River of Hope

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On August 29th, 2005 Hurricane Katrina, a Category 5 hurricane, made landfall in New Orleans, Louisiana. 16 foot tall storm surges overwhelmed the levee system and 80% of the city became flooded, the damage was catastrophic.

The River of Hope Mental Health Resource Center was founded in 2010 to help the 9th Ward community. It’s goal is to help the community recover psychologically and deal with lingering emotional trauma.

Please support the River of Hope and help us continue or work to improve the lives of the people in the 9th Ward by making a donation today.

  • Support for Survivors of New Orleans’ Tornado - On February 7th, a powerful tornado touched down in the New Orleans East neighborhood damaging homes and businesses,  injuring several dozen people. and leaving thousands without power.  This area was also severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005  and since then we have had an ongoing relationship with the neighborhood and New Salem Baptist Church providing support in many forms. You can read about our history in New Orleans here. Our...
  • Mental Health Resources and Help Hotlines - May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We at Headwaters felt it important to share a list of mental health resources and help hotlines. All provide anonymous, confidential information to callers. Please print this list, bookmark it, share it and keep it in an accessible place. You never know when you or someone you know may need one of these resources.   Boys Town National Hotline – Crisis hotline that helps parents and...
  • New Orleans: Ten Years Later - Headwaters Relief Organization volunteers continued to help build community in New Orleans 10 years after Hurricane Katrina. Volunteers donned their blue shirts in a moving and heartfelt trip to New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, an area severely affected by the disaster. Working with our longstanding partner, New Salem Baptist Church, Headwaters’ trip was timed to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the storm on August 29, 2015. Volunteers engaged in clean-up activities...
  • 10 Years of Hope - August 29th, will mark 10 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. It also marks 10 years of Hope.  Headwaters Relief Organization, formally known as River of Hope evolved out of the needs after Hurricane Katrina and has been a presence in the 9th ward ever since. Headwaters will mark this anniversary on Saturday August 29th with a community celebration. Continued rebuilding work; both physically on a building in the...
  • Headwaters Relief 2014 Annual Report - Headwaters Relief is pleased to share with you our 2014 Annual Report. In addition to giving a roundup of our activities and initiatives during the year, the report lists the many individuals and organizations whose generosity made our work possible – thank you all! Check out the report here.
  • Eleven Who Care recognizes Headwaters - This month KARE11 recognized Headwaters Relief Organization and founder Dr. Rebecca Thomley as an “Eleven Who Care” honoree. Since its inception in 1983, Eleven Who Care has introduced more than 300 initiatives and individuals making a difference in their community. The following piece aired as part of a KARE11 special on 2013 Eleven Who Care honorees. On Saturday, October 26, 2013 KARE11’s Belinda Jensen interviewed Dr. Rebecca Thomley and Kari Reinhart...
  • 8 years after Hurricane Katrina, help is still needed - Although the 8th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hasn’t created a lot of media attention, for us, the storm and the events in the days and weeks afterward changed our lives forever. More than 50 levees and flood walls broke when Katrina hit, flooding 80% of New Orleans and all of St. Bernard Parish. Our founder Dr. Rebecca Thomley was one of the first to enter the Ninth Ward in the...
  • Pioneer Press charity watchdog mentions Headwaters - Debra O’Connor of the Pioneer Press regularly checks out charities for her readers to make sure they’re legitimate. She interviewed Cheryl Vennerstrom, Headwaters Relief COO, last week and provided a great summary of our organization. To read Ms. O’Connor’s article visit the TwinCities.com website here If you’d like to have her investigate a charity, you can email her at
  • B&W Rebecca Dr. Rebecca Thomley chosen for 2013 Eleven Who Care - We are very pleased to announce that Orion CEO Rebecca Thomley has been announced as the recipient of an Eleven Who Care award. Dr. Thomley is being recognized for her work with the Headwaters Relief Organization, a non-profit she founded in 2006 to help victims of disaster. Dr. Thomley was inspired to create the organization after her experience as a first responder in the Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina. The...
  • drum circle Headwaters kicks off Drumming Circle CD project - We announced a new project last week via the popular fundraising website Kickstarter for a drumming circle CD. The project will raise funds to create a CD of the 9th Ward children performing in therapeutic drumming circles. Funds raised will help the children create and market a musical CD of their talents in the drumming circle and also be used for recording equipment. The project will be coordinated with Project...