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History

History

Guadalupe Economic Services Corporation (GESC) arose from the humble and loosely organized Lubbock Guadalupe Neighborhood Association (LGNA) in 1949.  It was the destructive F-5 tornado of 1970 that levelled the Guadalupe neighborhood and laid the foundation for change.  The storm was the first F-5 tornado in modern recorded history and later would be used as a model by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish the Fiji Scale to rate tornado intensity world-wide.

In addition to the tragic loss of life the destructive tornado leveled hundreds of homes in the neighborhood which was comprised mostly of farmworkers and their extended families.  The defining moment came when Founder; Richard Lopez merged with neighborhood residents and spearheaded the reconstruction efforts.  Together they began the arduous task of reconstructing hundreds of homes one at a time.  The reconstruction was organized to ensure that neighborhood growth would improve to meet future efforts to stabilize families and small business entrepreneurs.  The reconstruction efforts were catapulted in 1987 when GESC received its nonprofit status and became eligible to apply for federal funding. 

By 1998 the City of Lubbock declared the neighborhood a success and discontinued CDBG funding for distressed communities.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would later adopt the reconstruction model as a best practice for the United States.