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Our hometown of Louisville, Kentucky is no different than any other region we serve. We have diverse groups yearning to work together to achieve a common goal. We want to bridge the gap of various areas in Louisville by creating conversation, enhancing the community and building lasting relationships for our town through projects with our community partners and safety & accessibility projects.

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Muhammad Ali, Louisville’s Hometown Hero

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Learn more about our programs
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Our Work in Louisville

Our immersion trip volunteers fuel our mission with their smiles, their sweat, and their financial support. Our desire to expand to work in our own neighborhood of Louisville began in 2016 with a few projects. Since then, we have hosted 215 groups, building relationships with our community and homeowners.


Community Partners

Hand in Hand’s Community Engagement Projects give us the opportunity to collaborate and partner with other non-profits and organizations in West Louisville who have their own project wish list. We have been thankful to build relationships with these organizations and together we work to find ways we can support one another as we all work to build a better community. Our projects are completed by volunteer groups as part of our Louisville Program. 

Safety & Accessibility Projects

West Louisville has some of our cities oldest and most beautiful homes! It is also home to many elderly residents, who face health and safety issues in their aging homes. Our Homeowner Assistance Program seeks to address mobility and safety concerns for our elderly or disabled neighbors. Most repairs are completed by our Construction Manager; however, groups occasionally assist with construction of wheelchair ramps, repairing steps/railings and installing fences. 

We work in the nine neighborhoods of West Louisville:  Shawnee, Chickasaw, Park DuValle, Parkland, Algonquin, Park Hill, California, Russell and Portland. 


Louisville Immersion Opportunities

West Louisville has a rich and complicated history. Like all history, some parts are beautiful and easy to celebrate while others are traumatic and hard to talk about. West Louisville is no different. Hand in Hand works to educate our volunteers on all aspects. We believe we must understand our past in order to move forward to a more peaceful and just future for all. Spending a day with us in West Louisville will involve learning, exposure to new places, exposure to old challenges. 

We believe we are all in need of being restored, and when we join in the work of restoration not only will we have opportunities to help others experience restoration, but we will continue to experience restoration in our own lives. Whether the group comes for a day, or an overnight trip, here are some of the things you can expect:

  1. Encounter Community
  2. Silent Walk/Faith/Prayer Reflection Time
  3. Meet new friends
  4. Space to learn and grow in faith, life and service
  5. Community Engagement Work – we focus on building relationships 
  6. Faith and Justice Sessions – hear from some of our key Community Partners on matters of faith, justice, joys and challenges of life in a place like West Louisville. 

4-Hour Immersion Retreat: 9am-1pm, Weekdays $600/group – bring your own lunch – March – November season

This program is ideal for school groups, business teams, church groups and individuals who are looking for an introduction to Hand in Hand and our work in West Louisville. Your four-hour experience will include dialogue about the challenges and opportunities facing our city. You will enjoy your own brown bag lunch as you learn more about each other, our community, and Hand in Hand. 
Maximum Group Size: 25 Check out the sample schedule.

Overnight Awareness-Immersion Retreat: 1-2 nights, Weekends & Weekdays $75 per person/night, most meals included

This program is ideal for high school and University groups, church groups, sorority and fraternity groups. Morning activities will focus on service in the community. This may include building a wheelchair ramp, building a fence, or assisting an elderly client with home safety issues. Afternoons include guest presenters who can facilitate discussions about topics like redlining, faith and racial justice, poverty simulations (Making Choices), and forgiveness. After 5:00pm, groups are free to socialize, explore the city of Louisville, or facilitate their own discussions and/or group activities.
Maximum group size: 18 

5-Day Awareness-Immersion Retreat: $300 per person

This program is geared towards University and out-of-town groups. Mornings will include a two-to-three-hour work project each day. Afternoons will include in-depth discussions about social justice topics. These discussions will be facilitated by friends, scholars, and pastors with knowledge and experience. Topics range from redlining, faith and racial justice, history of the church in West Louisville, Compassionate Listening, poverty simulations (Making Choices), Working Across Cultural and Faith Barriers, Lessons from Thomas Merton, and more. 

Evening activities will be organized by group leaders and include visits to local attractions, or it can simply be a time to deepen connections within your group with games and other group activities. Our staff will provide you with ideas of local attractions that are not to be missed. We have a short list of suggested books and videos you might want to explore before joining us for a 5-day experience. 

Meals include self-serve continental breakfast each morning and brown bag lunches. Dinner will be prepared by Hand in Hand volunteers or local restaurants most evenings. You will have access to a full kitchen for snacks and special meal requests, but we ask you to leave most of the cooking to us. We do encourage groups to visit a local restaurant at least once during their stay with us. Louisville has a great food scene; we guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Maximum Group size: 18. 

Click here to take a virtual tour of the Louisville Retreat Center!

Ok – I’m interested. What should I do next?

If you’d like to learn more about scheduling your group for a Louisville Experience, contact Allison Ridenour, or call our office at 502-459-9930.

Service Day Opportunities

On service days our volunteers work with local residents in our Homeowner Assistance Program that seeks to address mobility and safety concerns for our elderly or disabled neighbors. We have also helped our community partners with fencing needs for daycares and businesses. These needs are addressed by our Construction Manager and volunteers on service days and during our 5-day awareness-service retreats.

The projects range from wheelchair ramps to handrails, fencing, and porches.  Sometimes, the homeowners and community partners assist in the project, meet the team and share stories and their appreciation of the work that was done. We work in the nine neighborhoods of West Louisville:  Shawnee, Chickasaw, Park DuValle, Parkland, Algonquin, Park Hill, California, Russell and Portland. 

  • Selected days of the week, based on the needs of the community
  • Want to get on the on-call list? Share your contact information with John Fitzgerald
Community Connectors Monthly Volunteer Program

Are you a stay at-home parent, retiree, student or just looking to get involved once a month? Join us the 3rd Thursday of each month to work on a community project. Groups work on a variety of projects: safety & accessibility projects, small repair projects around our office, painting, etc. Skills are not necessary. 

Contact John Fitzgerald, for more information or call 502-459-9930.

*All dates are $20 and are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.*

2023 Dates 

  • March 16
  • April 20
  • May 18
  • June 15
  • July 20
  • August 17
  • September 21
Exploring Cultural Differences Program - Book Club

Hand in Hand is working toward a more just and peaceful world, one in which all members of our communities are able to thrive. Working to this end has led us in the past year to explore different learning opportunities. Members of our staff and our board went through a JUST FAITH: Faith and Racial Equity curriculum, an 8-week study on Faith and Race, where we were challenged to learn the truth of our delicate and often painful history. We believe we must learn from our past wounds in order to achieve a more peaceful and just future. 

Since that initial study our group formed a Hand in Hand Book Club. We read a book and then we gather to discuss. With each book and with each discussion group members are challenged with the status quo, group members are challenged to see others differently, to listen more, to look within at how we are contributing to systemic issues of our society and look to find ways to join in the work of restoration. If you are interested in joining our group and joining in the learning journey, please contact Luke Chase, we would be happy to have you. 

Here are the books we have read so far:
I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
The Colors of Culture: The Beauty of Diverse Friendships by MelindaJoy Mingo
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo 
The Warmth of Other Sons by Isabel Wilkerson
The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee
How to Heal Our Divides by Brian McLaren, Diana Bass, Brian Allain
Rethinking Incarceration by Dominque Gilliard
Barking to the Choir by Gregory Boyle
The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby
One Blood by John Perkins
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Up Next: Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions by Tiffany Jana 

A next step for this group is to gather with Community Faith Leaders to continue our journey of learning. These Faith and Justice Sessions will focus on issues relevant to West Louisville, and will challenge us to grow in our understanding, our empathy, our involvement in restorative work. Topics will range from Redlining, Education, West Louisville Church History, Christian Community Development, etc. 

If you’d like to learn more, contact Luke Chase, Louisville Program Coordinator.


Ways to Help
  • Donate Now! Your gift helps with ongoing program expenses
  • Check out our Amazon wish list here
  • Like us on social media

“I loved going to the Free 2 Hope House [community partner] and helping cement the sidewalk. I also very much enjoyed every speaker we heard and learned a lot from them. The tour of Louisville also was impactful because I truly felt more in touch with a city I did not know much about.” – Aly, immersion trip volunteer

“There are just no words to tell you how grateful we are for all that you do. My heart is so full.” – S.R., family member of homeowner assisted

“The ‘pros’ in the group made me feel welcome and useful. Great group of guys. I enjoyed talking to Myra and learning some of her history, too.” – Cindy, service day volunteer