NEW IBERIA — The Li'l Brooklyn Neighborhood Initiative is a project that was started by a retired graphics designer, Anne Darrah. She started this initiative to help beautify a small section of New Iberia in hopes to attract more people.
Alison Henry, a New Iberia native, recently moved back home from California after moving away when she was just fourteen years old. She decided to move back after seeing the improvements made in the community through the initiative.
Thirty years after she moved away, she came back to New Iberia to visit. Upon returning, she found what appeared to be a lifeless neighborhood compared to the one that she knew and loved.
"I noticed a lot of the houses were no longer here, and a lot of the families that I grew up with were no longer in Li'l Brooklyn either," says Henry. "It was very different coming home."
When she first heard about the push to bring the area back to life, she felt inspired to return home to New Iberia and be a part of the movement.
In April, Henry bought a home in the neighborhood that belonged to her aunt and uncle years ago, right across the street from the house that she grew up in as a little girl. Shortly after she moved in, she began to realize that although the physical appearance of the neighborhood looks different, the people in the neighborhood are still the same.
"One thing that I have learned when I came home is that there are a lot of friendly people still here, and I am really enjoying that," says Henry. "They have all been participating with the improvement and the uplifting of this community and it's just really awesome to see that."
And after being back for less than a month, Henry is already planting her roots here in Li'l Brooklyn.
"I am definitely going to be here for quite a while," she says. "Just enjoying being home."
If you would like to be apart of the Li'l Brooklyn Neighborhood Initiative, you can volunteer through their Facebook page.
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