The Neighborhoods Partnership Network's foundation lies in the spirit of interdependency revealed in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. It revealed significant weakness in many structures Americans took for granted – physical structures such levees and hospitals, but also governing and social structures from FEMA to state and local entities. Citizens had to become their own “first responders," from rescuing their neighbors to rescuing their neighborhoods. NPN was born from both the failures revealed and opportunities provided by the catastrophe.
NPN's leadership recognized the need for a citywide framework to assist communities in maximizing the use of limited resources and information while providing connections to those with similar obstacles, eliminating duplication of efforts and working toward shared goals. The organization's core infrastructure met the need for New Orleanians to be involved in the formal decision-making processes regarding addressing quality of life issues. That need continues to exist today and NPN continues to play a significant role in building the capacity of residents to stay involved and engaged.