New Orleans, La.- The city of New Orleans awards the first "NOLA for Life" grant recipients. The following is a release from the city detailing the winners.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that 23 local non-profit organizations have been awarded a total of $500,000 through the NOLA FOR LIFE Fund. The organizations were selected through a competitive process to identify local non-profit organizations that deliver high-quality programs and social services to young men most at risk of killing or being killed. "When we created the NOLA FOR LIFE plan, we knew that we had to take a holistic approach to stemming the violence that rips at the heart and soul of our city," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.
"These grants will help organizations already doing good work in our community provide new levels of support to our boys and young men. We're asking these individuals to make a different choice, so we have to make sure that they have access to the critical social services that can help." Two categories of grants will be distributed. Nine organizations will receive $40,000 grants and to participate in a "Community of Practice," designed to link organizations around a common agenda.
Over the next 18 months, these organizations will provide intensive services to high-risk individuals, share information and work collaboratively to develop practices that work. Fourteen organizations will receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 to support their efforts to deliver programs and services. The grants call for a commitment by the organizations to serve high-risk individuals. In October, Mayor Landrieu announced the creation of the NOLA FOR LIFE Fund, housed at GNOF, and accepted the first major donation to the fund - a $1 million gift from Chevron. The City of New Orleans contributed $250,000 to the fund. "We're proud partners with the City of New Orleans in this initiative and our work is just beginning," said Albert Ruesga, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
"The Foundation will create a network among the nine grantee organizations so that we can coordinate efforts, learn from one another, and work collectively to address this challenge." Warner Williams, Vice President of Chevron's Gulf of Mexico Business Unit, said, "Chevron is pleased to support NOLA FOR LIFE through investments in education and work force development. We believe in the power of partnership and collaboration to achieve sustainable outcomes. So, we are pleased to build on our existing programs in this region with the addition of the new NOLA FOR LIFE grantees."
In May 2012, Mayor Landrieu launched NOLA FOR LIFE, a comprehensive murder strategy built around five pillars: Stop the Shootings, Invest in Prevention, Promote Jobs and Opportunity, Get Involved and Rebuild Neighborhoods, and Improve the NOPD. "To help these young men have a future, and to end the cycle of violence and death on our streets, we must have all hands on deck and we must join forces and provide the financial, human and institutional resources to work with these young men," Mayor Landrieu said.
The nine organizations selected to receive Community of Practice grants are:
APEX Community Advancement, located in Central City, provides services to teens, primarily ages 12 to 19, during the day. It offers special evening activities and programs at least three nights a week to teens and young adults between 15 and 25. Mentorship training for older teens and young adults is offered side-by-side with afternoon programming, giving individuals ages 18 to 25 leadership skills-building.
Reconcile New Orleans, Inc., which works to transforms the lives of young adults and the community through the ministry of reconciliation by encouraging personal growth, providing workforce development and training, promoting entrepreneurship, and working with businesses, nonprofits, and people of faith to support this transformation. Café Reconcile, the nationally recognized workforce development training program now in its thirteenth year, provides life skills, hospitality industry training, work experience, job placement, and extended case management services for disconnected youth, ages 16-22.
Covenant House, which offers emergency shelter, transitional living, and permanent supportive housing programs, plus a host of educational, vocational, and health services that address root causes of homelessness. Supportive services include job readiness and life skills training; assistance finding jobs; a job training program in landscape services; and enrollment in training programs operated by partnering youth services agencies. Pre-school education is available in an on-site Early Head Start program. We have on-site medical and behavioral health care.
The Family Center of Hope, Inc., which has been providing services to the New Orleans community for over 20 years. FCH has been committed to assessing the case- specific needs of its clients and finding case-specific solutions to produce positive change in the clients served.
Institute of Behavioral Science, which offers a network of community-based services including the trademarked "Addicted to the Lifestyle," program. The program provides an innovative cognitive behavioral approach specifically designed for African American males who have been identified as being at risk of shooting or being shot. The program offers a shift in violence and substance abuse prevention/intervention paradigms by using an evidence base culturally approach to change
Juvenile Regional Services(JRS), is a nonprofit law office whose mission is to defend the rights and enhance the life opportunities of young people in Louisiana's juvenile justice system. JRS' program goals stem from its commitment to advocacy that is zealous, holistic, client-centered, community-oriented, and transformative.
Liberty's Kitchen, a social enterprise dedicated to transforming the lives of New Orleans' youth by providing a path to self-sufficiency. The vision of Liberty's Kitchen is to give disconnected youth ages 16 - 24 the chance for an independent, inspired and productive life; a sense of purpose and confidence and the skills, tools and opportunities to thrive in gainful employment; and Access to the resources to deal with those issues which have held them back.
Resurrection After Exoneration, which works to promote reform-minded leadership among those who have been imprisoned by assisting them during their transition process to ensure a successful reentry, and by empowering exonerated individuals to confront and reform the system that victimized them.
Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), which provides intensive case management, mentoring and educational services to at-risk New Orleans youth, strengthening each young person's capacity to successfully connect with his or her family and community and lays the foundation for a healthy transition to adulthood The 14 organizations that will receive ill receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 are:
beyondNOLA ($10,000), a non-profit organization committed to the empowerment of high risk urban youth by exposing them to the wealth of opportunities that exist beyond the City of New Orleans.
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans($10,000), a non-profit umbrella agency with 42 programs delivering health and human services to the poor and vulnerable in the community.
Children's Bureau of New Orleans($10,000), which works to improve the quality of life for children and families through valid and proven programs that enhance and strengthen mental health and wellness.
Communities In Schools($15,000), which works to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
Community Service Center($10,000), an organization working to help ex-offenders become productive and vital members of their families and communities.
Goodwill Industries- Master Crafts ($15,000), a program that works to revive the building trades traditions of New Orleans by strengthening the businesses of existing Master Craftsmen and providing apprenticeship training for a new generation of skilled tradesmen.
Justice & Accountability Center($10,000), which works to identify and tackle deficiencies in the post-conviction phase of the criminal justice system.
Liberty CDC- Israelite Baptist ($5,000), established to serve individuals and families primarily of low socio-economic status in crime ravaged by Central City, the non-profit organization offers after-school tutoring, computer literacy, mentoring, counseling, referrals to other agencies, and outreach programs.
Limitless Vistas($15,000) works to help disadvantaged young people complete their education; learn the necessary skills to become gainfully employed while building a hopeful future.
No Time 4 Crime($5,000), a music and educational program dedicated to helping at-risk youth escape the pressures of gangs, crime, and drug infested neighborhoods.
People United for Armstrong Park($10,000), which provides direct mentorship to at-risk, formerly incarcerated and unemployed individuals through its Event Production Training Program.
Silverback Society($5,000), which recruits, trains and coordinates mentors and role models to ensure that every boy in the 8th grade has the opportunity to meet his future.
Son of a Saint Sports Foundation($10,000), which works to enhance the lives of fatherless youth males through mentorship, education, sports, and mental health services. ·
Urban League of Greater New Orleans ($10,000), which focuses on securing economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights for African Americans and other underserved populations.
About NOLA FOR LIFE Developed in May 2012, NOLA FOR LIFE is New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's comprehensive murder reduction strategy to tackle the city's historically-high murder rate. Recognizing that law enforcement alone cannot solve the murder problem, the NOLA FOR LIFE plan takes a holistic approach to get to the root of the problem, and divides the plan into five main categories including: Stop the Shooting; Invest in Prevention; Promote Jobs and Opportunity; Improve the NOPD; and Get Involved and Rebuild Neighborhoods. Development of the NOLA FOR LIFE plan was fueled by the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team and the City's public safety and public health experts.
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