Reggie Lawson, Founder, Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association
As a veteran of neighborhood politics, Reggie Lawson more often than not ends up as the face of the St. Roch neighborhood. Reggie says that there are many important and soulful things about St. Roch that are not connected to him and that he is always looking for more residents to get involved in building community in St. Roch.
After spending time working in his grandfather’s restaurant and graduating from St. Augustine High School, and at his mother’s urging he attended LSUNO and Straight Business College where he received his Associates Degree in Accounting and also taught bookkeeping for two years. In 1969, Reggie became a realtor after working one year at Carver Realty and Insurance in the back office, he realized real estate was something he liked and he could be successful in the industry.
Having been raised in a single-parent household in public housing, Reggie found the perfect location for himself and his mom in the St. Roch community in 1993. He loved the idea of having the Sampson/St. Roch Park across the street and the service alley creating two entrances to his home. In Reggie’s years of working in real estate he had come across the service style entrance in very few neighborhoods in New Orleans other than Lakeview.
Once living in the St. Roch Neighborhood, Reggie saw an immediate need for a neighborhood association due to the dearth of homeownership and in 1995, Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association (FSRIA) was founded.
Reggie’s leadership and the members of the FSRIA have accomplished much over the years such as health and housing fairs, supporting one of the most well attended National Night’s Out Against Crime, the development of sustainable youth baseball and football teams, partnering with FSRP to complete a property survey of the neighborhood, however the FSRIA’s greatest achievement is yet to come.
If you are interested in learning more about St. Roch’s important and soulful history and have a desire to see the neighborhood come together to propel itself forward you should consider getting involved with the FSRIA.
The goals of the neighborhood organization are to assist with redevelopment of housing stock in the area, to create home ownership opportunities and act as a catalyst for economic development.
The Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association meets every 2nd Thursday of the month at 6:00 pm at True Vine Baptist Church, 2008 Marigny St., New Orleans, LA 70117
*Courtesy of Faubourg St. Roch Project