Community Impact

Community Impact

From WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

Nonprofits touch our lives every day, and the Community Impact series highlights their critical work and the difference they are making. Each week, New Orleans-based writer Ian McNulty brings you the stories of diverse groups working across southeast Louisiana. You'll hear directly from leaders and staff on the frontline of important issues, from dedicated volunteers and from the people whose lives have been improved by these nonprofits.More from Community Impact »

Most Recent Episodes

Us Helping Us: Formerly Incarcerated Men Assist One Another Through The First 72+

The First 72+ seeks to stop the cycle of incarceration by fostering independence and self-sustainability. Imagine you've just spent years, maybe decades, incarcerated. You've paid your debt to society, and upon release, you're given a bus ticket and $10. But, that's not $10 cash. It's a $10 check that you can't immediately cash because more than likely you don't have a social security card, a state ID, a bank account, transportation, or family to help you out. Unfortunately, few re-entry services or programs are available to you, and they are especially limited in New Orleans, even though 15,000 people are released annually in Louisiana. I visit one of the handful of places that offers help. "Two guys sleep in here. Two guys sleep in there also. This is the utility room there. And, this is the kitchen," says Ben Smith, executive director at The First 72+. The First 72+ is a re-entry program that provides transitional housing and other services for formerly incarcerated men in Louisiana

Us Helping Us: Formerly Incarcerated Men Assist One Another Through The First 72+

Cafe Reconcile Transforms The Lives Of Young Adults Through Reconciliation

Cafe Reconcile brings innovative life skills and job training to young people from severely at-risk communities. "So the word of the day today is open-mindedness. What does it mean to have an open mind, and is it important to have an open mind?" asks Rachel Crump, a social worker at Cafe Reconcile. Over a dozen youth and adults gather before the work day for breakfast and their morning circle. Morning circle is where they share, pray, and give praise reports. This is also when they hear Word of the Day and discuss what it means to each of them. Today, it's open-mindedness. "If you're a chef you gotta be open-minded to try different recipes," says one participant. Cafe Reconcile is an 11-week job training program for youth 16-23 years old. It started in 2000 and over a thousand graduates have gone on to pursue careers in restaurants, hospitals, and other food services. But Cafe Reconcile does more than train people to work in food service. It addresses participants' understanding of

Cafe Reconcile Transforms The Lives Of Young Adults Through Reconciliation

Green Light New Orleans Makes A Large Impact Through Small Actions

Green Light New Orleans strives to operate as a model of energy efficiency and sustainability. I'm in the backyard of Ms. Mira Cosey's home. She tells me what vegetables she's been growing in her garden since Green Light New Orleans built one for her, free of charge. "Tomatoes, collards, okra, turnips! Beets. And that's my cucumber over there," says Mira Cosey. "It wasn't this tall when I was out here last week. See, all that nice rain." Green Light New Orleans was started by musician Andreas Hoffman in 2006 to assist in the sustainable rebuilding of New Orleans. Green Light offers New Orleans residents tools that can save money on recurring costs and reduce their own carbon footprint. "See, I'm from Woodville, Mississippi. My family had gardens, a small farm. So when they came out with the idea, I jumped for it," says Cosey. Green Light New Orleans' volunteers have installed free energy efficient light bulbs to over 26,000 homes, backyard vegetable gardens, and rain barrels. Andreas

Community Impact: A Clinic That Plays To Musicians' Health Needs

Community Impact is WWNO's series on nonprofit organizations in the New Orleans region, a partnership between WWNO and the Greater New Orleans Foundation. In this edition Jasmin Lopez visits the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic.

Women Who Were Sex Trafficked Find Strength And Reclaim Their Lives At Eden House

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the average age of entry into prostitution in the United States is 12-14. Eden House is a two-year residential program for women who have been commercially and sexually exploited. Modeled after Magdalene House in Nashville, Tennessee, Eden House provides six to eight women a safe and supportive home for two years, free of cost.

Women Who Were Sex Trafficked Find Strength And Reclaim Their Lives At Eden House

Neighborhood Housing Services Of New Orleans Helps The Aging Stay In Their Homes

Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, Inc. revitalizes communities by increasing the number of homeowners and transforming vacant or substandard properties into sustainable homeownership. They improve quality of life through informed community development initiatives, leadership development, education, outreach and collaboration.

Neighborhood Housing Services Of New Orleans Helps The Aging Stay In Their Homes

NewCorp Acts As A Catalyst For Wealth For Disadvantaged Communities

NewCorp has served as convener of the Mardi Gras Indian nations including the Yellow Pocahontas, Mohawk Hunters, Washitaw Nation, Apache Nation, Naypayshni Cherokee Warriors, Fiyiyi, Indians of the Nation, Hard Head Hunters and Golden Camanche. These groups have formed the Black Mardi Gras Indian Cooperative.

VA Trains Employees With Skills Needed To Advance Their Careers

The Hudson Thomas Program is a workforce training program of the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Healthcare System aimed at increasing the fundamental skills needed to advance the careers of incumbent employees. The program focuses on competencies in reading, writing and computer literacy, as well as soft skills and career coaching. The goal of this program is to increase the number of entry-level workers eligible to apply for mid level positions within the growing VA system.

Louisiana Appleseed Makes Getting A Clear Property Title Easier

Louisiana Appleseed recruits professionals to donate pro bono time to solve problems at their root cause. Their goal is to advance social justice by creating change at a systemic level. Louisiana Appleseed's projects seek to increase access to education, opportunity and justice. "Hey did you want to talk for a second?" asks Christy Kane from behind a table at Dillard University's Housing Fair. "We're here to talk about clear title today, and why it's important if you own a home to have the paperwork in your name," Kane explains to Kim Ford, who's standing on the other side of the table. Kane asks Ms. Ford if she owns a home or is planning to at some point. And she does, but... "My husband purchased the property in his name alone because he had a better credit score," explains Ford. "So we wanted to become homeowners, and that was the only way we could do it if we left my name off. But guess what? He has a child from a previous relationship." Even though Ford's name is not on the title,

KIPP Supports Its Graduates All The Way Through College

New Orleans has ten KIPP schools serving grades Kindergarten through 12th.. KIPP New Orleans also has a program called KIPP Through College, which supports KIPP middle school and high school alumni on their path to and through college.

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