top of page

EBR Community Check-ins (Weeks 1-12)

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in EBR The Walls Project has been hosting weekly video calls with leaders of nonprofits, foundations, city-government, and local businesses from across the parish. The intention of these weekly community check-ins is to share information and resources to help the Baton Rouge community respond and recover from the pandemic. Weekly topics range from access to basic needs such as food, medical care, and safety to thought-leaders insights on equitable opportunities for youth enrichment, nonprofit financial solvency, surge in unemployment, and the disproportionate impact on impoverished neighborhoods in regards to accessing fresh food.


Week 12 TOPIC

Food Insecurity In EBR


Casey Phillips (Walls Project -

  • BATON ROOTS COMMUNITY FARM - increase fresh food production to address issues that the current pandemic has highlighted in North Baton Rouge; underlying health issues in low-income communities and a fragile food system.

  • Through this expansion, our farm network will be able to produce 200,000 pounds of fresh and healthy food that will be directly distributed to our surrounding community

  • Read the plan and engage:

Camille Manning-Browne (CPEX -

Edy Addison (CAUW -

  • We launched  a basic need feeding initiative called “United We Feed”

    • Started as an initiative out of these weekly coalition meetings to respond to food insecurity during COVID-19

  • The intention in the coming months is to continue providing food

  • We’ve done 3 distributions, first was to frontline workers

  • We had our first place based distribution last week in ascension parish 

  • We have a distribution with Topbox coming up in June 

  • If your organization needs for employees or clients, please let us know 

Emily Chatelain (Three O’clock Project -

  • We provide healthy after-school and summer meals at no cost.We are an approved sponsor to serve meals through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and also Summer Feeding Program. Let us take on the administrative burden of managing this federally funded program, and get healthy meals to the children in your care.

  • Three O’Clock Project is a nonprofit organization. Our mission is to provide healthy meals and nutrition education for at-risk students after school.

  • We partner with schools, after school organizations, food vendors and local communities to provide healthy meals and education at little to no cost

Nicolette Gordon (FarmHer Missy -

  • Managing 120-acre farm in St. Helena parish 

  • Mission is to remind kids that self sustainability is still relevant 

Jared Hymowitz (HealthyBR -

  • Our mission is to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate 

  • We focus on food access, behavioral health, sexually transmitted diseases, and access to care

    • How people are getting access to healthcare and where its located 

Connor Deloach (Topbox -

  • Supply chain intervention

  • Help cut out all the middlemen

  • Provide a person in need with a box of groceries for half the price they would pay at a grocery store

  • We partner with churches and community centers and use their space as a distribution hub

  • Since COVID we’ve had to adapt and deliver directly to people houses, regardless of zip code

  • We also accept food stamps

  • Our target demographic is low to middle-income community members

  • Talked about setting up a system where we aggregate food from local growers in Baton Rouge directly to people who need it 

Andrea Roberts (BREC -

  • Hunger doesn't necessarily fit into recreation but we have gardens at our parks and have emerged as a distribution channel 

Gwen Hamilton (New Schools for Baton Rouge -

  • Is there somewhere where there's a codification where all of this fits together so we’re not duplicating efforts and can recognize where the gaps are?

    • Geaux Get Healthy has a massive coalition of hospitals, schools, and healthcare providers who meet frequently and check-in with one another to evaluate needs.- Casey Phillips (Walls Project)

  • 470 families have been identified in istrouma. It seems as if we’re trying to help everybody all over the place. Let's pick a place and solve the issue in that area. It doesn’t seem to be that we have the capacity to keep going this way.

    • 211 is the best resource for all that data. Unita is a platform that helps communicate between nonprofits so that they can make referrals. My hope is to merge the two. What HealthyBR is also concerned with is how we connect those two to healthcare. We’re partnering with the Lake to get them cooking demos, nutritionists, etc to look at how we can change health outcomes on a programmatic level. We can’t focus on one area because people will come from other areas since they’re so starved of resources. Right now we are an organization of 1 full-time staff. I’m working with our partners and board members for fundraising, we’re looking for more local dollars to help build capacity in Baton Rouge.  - Jared Hymowitz (HealthyBR)

Manny Patole (Co-City Fellow and Project Manager / Marron Institute of Urban Management / LabGov/Co-City Baton Rouge -

  • People should temper their expectation when talking about aggregating data for the same issues

  • There are stigma issues related to food access

  • What's the actual impact of food insecurity on these households?

  • There’s a lot of data that needs to be unpacked and vetted before you can make these types of decisions

Coffee Chat @ 9AM: Helen Frink (Mayor Broome’s Office)

Patrick Tuck (4-H Louisiana)

  • Louisiana 4-H summer camp is also open

Esperanza Zenon (River Parish Community College)

  • There’s still ambiguity about what the fall will look like 

  • Our chancellor is open to the idea of keeping classes online as much as possible for the fall

Nina Hunter (EmployBR)

  • We’re planning to do a large initiative where we target all member who has applied for unemployment benefits

  • All individuals who have filed b/c their business laid-off employees are eligible for Dislocated Worker Program 

  • We are closed for in-person business until further notice but are doing all services virtually

Boo Milton (Community Organizer)

  • We are giving 600 Spark Box kits on June 14th at 2 PM at BRECs Womack Park

  • Going to try to give out 600 or more kits every two weeks

Week #12 Chat & Additional Resources: From Manohar Ramkumar Patole to Everyone: (8:37 AM)

Thank you Manny From Chelsea Morgan to Everyone: (8:45 AM)

Everyone on this call is doing amazing work! Please allow the local Association of Fundraising Professionals to honor you, your donors or volunteers. The nominations are due at the end of this month. An event highlighting them will be hosted in November. From dustinlafont to Everyone: (8:47 AM)

Thank you Emily. Getting meals at our site has been very helpful for our families. We were informed that we can only provide meals to kids ages 18 and down. Are there any food resources for senior citizens? From Edy Addison to Everyone: (8:49 AM)

Yes, I would also love to know if there are orgs feeding seniors outside of Council on Agings. From Emily Chatelain to Everyone: (8:50 AM)

Dustin - definitely on our mind as well, many kids we are feeding live with Seniors in need (as you directly see) let's collaborate on it From Nicolette Missy Gordon to Everyone: (8:50 AM)

IG: @FarmHerMissy From Manny Patole to Everyone: (8:50 AM)

Sounds like a niche programmatic collaboration :-) From Chelsea Morgan to Everyone: (8:51 AM)

Grow Baton Rouge has a mobile market that has been focused on senior centers. They are apart of Geaux Get Healthy/Healthy BR. From Manny Patole to Everyone: (8:57 AM)

Q: Are there CSA’s in the area? From Mitchell Provensal to Everyone: (8:58 AM)

Yes we have a few CSA's with Fullness Farms and Luckett Farms that I know of. From Jared Hymowitz to Everyone: (8:59 AM)

Top Box also supports Healthy Corner Stores by supporting with both distribution of food to corner stores as well as business support to the business owner From Connor Deloach to Everyone: (8:59 AM)

Connor deloach Top Box Foods Louisiana From Manny Patole to Everyone: (9:01 AM)

*Ten minute walk that is on a connected, safe path From Connor Deloach to Everyone: (9:01 AM)

Very responsive to texts as well, (847) 971-7741 From Emily Chatelain to Everyone: (9:02 AM)

We (Three Oclock Project) admire all of these orgs and would love to work with anyone to increase access to healthy food -

From Patrick Tuck to Everyone: (9:02 AM)

Missy -- are you working with Angela Myles? (AgCenter)

From Leslie Clay to Everyone: (9:02 AM)

I have connected to the Anti Smoking coalition/Healthy BR as well as the Region 2 Manager with TFL and Healthier Air for All

From Connor Deloach to Everyone: (9:02 AM)

Emily, I will shoot you an email. Would love to run a few ideas by you. I will email you!

From Emily Chatelain to Everyone: (9:03 AM)

Connor - we could easily distribute a flier to the families we serve to inform them about TopBox, at minimum. We're reaching 1000's of EBR families

From Manny Patole to Everyone: (9:03 AM)

From Manny Patole to Everyone: (9:11 AM)

The stigma of food insecurity prevents open sharing.

2 Q’s: how are you working with HIPAA rules about sharing individual data

What is the ETA for Unita to disaggregate the localized data across systems?

From Manny Patole to Everyone: (9:15 AM)

Monitoring and Evaluation is a huge cost. Data collection frameworks need expertise

From Jared Hymowitz to Everyone: (9:15 AM)

My contact information is or you can call/ text me 225-367-5600

From Nina Hunter to Everyone: (9:16 AM)

From Edy Addison to Everyone: (9:16 AM)

We have anotherUnite UsPublic Session and Demo today from 10am-11:30.Zoom Meeting Information:

Password: Unite LA

Dial by your location

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 969 9374 5962

From Andrea Roberts to Everyone: (9:17 AM)

Kelli with Geaux Get Healthy is coordinating efforts from a holistic community perspective to build on the distribution routes that 3 O'clock Project and BREC developed to expand on that. Please coordinate through Kelli to get involved in the larger effort.

From Edy Addison to Everyone: (9:17 AM)

If you are unable to attend, please send me an email at and I will get you connected with Unite Louisiana.

From Patrick Tuck to Everyone: (9:22 AM)


From Manny Patole to Everyone: (9:22 AM)

Manny Patole - Co-City Baton Rouge,

From Helen to Everyone: (9:22 AM)

Hopping off momentarily but the application for the summer cohort of the Mayor's Youth Workforce Experience is live through Monday night at

From Edward Anthony to Everyone: (9:22 AM)

Edward Anthony -

From Connor Deloach to Everyone: (9:23 AM)

From Andrea Roberts to Everyone: (9:23 AM)

From Patrick Tuck to Everyone: (9:23 AM)

From Leslie Clay to Everyone: (9:23 AM)

From Nicolette Missy Gordon to Everyone: (9:23 AM)

From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: (9:23 AM)

From Helen to Everyone: (9:24 AM)

From Nina Hunter to Everyone: (9:33 AM)


Week 11 TOPIC

Safety First


Connie DeLeo (Senior Infection Control Practitioner, Baton Rouge General):

  • If you can continue to allow employees to telework, please do if you can 

  • Try to distance employees w/ 6 ft distancing 

    • If there are cubicles, have all openings with screens

  • If there is not chance for 6ft separation it is highly recommended that you provide mask to employees

  • Make sure employees have what they need

    • Hygiene

    • Sanitizers, antibacterial soaps, etc

    • Disinfectant wipes so people can wipe down their work stations

  • Stagger breaks for break room use

  • At BR General we make sure staff is provided with mask

    • We provide these to people who come into the facility 

    • Many people are asymptomatic, screenings are great but shouldn’t replace basic hygiene

  • If you have community gatherings, spread out times so that groups can be smaller 

  • Starting to see companies produce routine hand sanitizer dispensaries (smaller ones)

    • We had larger quantity sanitizers, we went to walmart and bought condiment bottles and filled those with sanitizers. We were able to put those in nursing units

  • If you have a mask, covid will stay within the masks

  • Make sure you are washing your cloth masks, I recommend every other day

    • Don’t want it to get very wet

  • Gloves are great but do not take the place of handwashing. We recommend not wearing gloves because it can hurt more than it helps. Just wash your hands after being in a potentially infected area 

    • Cannot clean gloves with hand sanitizer 

Boo Milton (Community Organizer)

  • I manage a building with about 17 tenants, there's a shared conference area. How would I go about suggesting or enforcing masks in a positive way?

    • “One thing I think has been helpful is for people to understand what the masks are for. Adults always think about what is good for ME. In the hospital we’ve explained what the mask is going to do. My mask protects you, your mask protects me. Signage of reminders also help. We also put signs on chairs saying “PLEASE DO NOT SIT HERE, PLEASE PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING”. You should also provide disinfectant wipes in your restrooms.” - Connie

Helena Williams (The Walls Project)

  • Should we change clothes when we get home from being out?

    • “CDC is discovering that COVID-19 is not as transferable on surfaces as once thought. You don’t have to change your clothes. The main way it spreads is from your hands to your mouth, nose and eyes. Just clean your hands”. - Connie

Pat LeDuff (CADAV, Inc)

  • Should I spray the bottom of my shoes?

    • “No, you don’t have to spray the bottom of your shoes.” - Connie 

Coffee Chat at 9AM: Future Weekly Topics:

Camille Manning-Broome (CPEX)

  • I would love to share the food insecurity analysis work 

  • We’re doing a lot of national foundation work as well 

David Summers (Partners Southeast)

  • Have a way to facilitate a conversation about mental health during COVID and as leaders how we are providing resources and outlets 

Raymond Jetson (MetroMorphosis)

  • I will provide a link to the webinar we are doing next Thursday called “Mental Health Matters”

  • I invite you all to share the link 

Manny Patole (Co-City BR)

  • As we open up what are the endeavors to get people back to work?

  • Are there re-trainings?

Jan Ross (Wilson Foundation)

  • I want to encourage that you stay in contact with your funders.

Pat LeDuff (CADAV, Inc)

  • Can we put summer camp and learning loss on the forefront?

    • “Boys and girls club is hosting a website for virtual summer camp. If they can do face to face they will still continue to have the virtual camp”- Jan Ross

Gwen Hamilton (New Schools For BR) 

  • What’s the best central location for resources that families can access?

    • “211 should be the one-stop-shop’ - Pat LeDuff

    • “Louisiana After School council is working with 211” - Patrick Tuck

Boo Milton (Community Organizer)

  • Currently working on tools for kids to engage with on how to be great human beings 

  • We have guides on how parents can deal with children emotions and emotional learning 

  • You can provide resources by emailing me

  • We’re not selling “spark boxes” individually because we want a way to get a large amount out for free 

  •  We want to give kids something to focus on and occupy them everyday 

Jan Moller (LA Budget Project)

  • Wrapping up Monday at 6:00 and will go back into special session at 6:01

  • The fight right now is what to do with all this CARES ACT money on how the dollars will be allocated to local municipalities vs. small business loans

Casey Phillips (Walls Project)

  • Week 12 - Summertime Food Access (Food insecurity coalition members Baton Roots + United We Feed + CPEX + GGH + BREC + Three O’Clock Project )

  • Week 13 - Mental Health After 3 Months of Quarantine (Metromorphosis - TBD

  • Additional Topics - Legal Exposure for Nonprofits & Businesses, Pandemic Future w/ National Foundation Funding

Week 11 Chat & Additional Resources:

From MetroMorphosis: (8:28AM) The link above is the registration to a webinar entitled Mental Health Matters that will be held this Thursday June 4th at 3:00pm. You are all invited - the MM mental health webinar is a public event on Zoom.

From Manny Patole - Co-City BR : (8:41 AM)

I have used the dishwasher “sanitize” setting to clean my masks. Without dishes, of course.Many textile or upholstery firms are also making small batch masks. It can also be a social distancing community building thing. We have seen this mask around as a humorous but salient example of masks (not too PC):

From MetroMorphosis: (8:44 AM)

Casey - please add the name of the masks source to the chat From Casey Phillips: (8:45 AM)

Giraphic Prints on Government Street (ask for Josh Ford)

From Edy Addison: (8:48 AM) next day supply order and pick From Patrick Tuck: (9:01 AM)

Availability of summer programming for youth. Virtual and otherwise.  4-H will be free From Edy Addison: (9:08 AM) yes please update your services with 211 at very much appreciated! From Kelli Rogers: (9:09 AM)

Virtual Wellness Wednesday topic last week was mental health. Wellness Wednesday registration and replays are available at From Patrick Tuck: (9:13 AM)

Could Edy or someone at CAUW do a 211 presentation? The searchable heat map is terrific!

From Manny Patole - Co-City BR: (9:15 AM)

Can you send some info to us about SparkBox. I would like to help. From emanuelboomilton: (9:16 AM) From Nina Hunter: (9:22 AM)

EmployBR is open and accepting applications virtually. From Gwen Hamilton: (9:24 AM)

What is the date and time of the Education Town Hall?  Helen will let the group know.

Edy Addison (CAUW):

1. Boys & Girls Club of GBR has started a BR Summer Experience virtual platform, an essential tool to provide children and teen safe, engaging and fun programs from home this summer. Families can register at  Please spread the word! 2. The IRS is issuing Economic Impact Payments to every eligible American. We need your help to reach individuals who do not normally file because they do not have enough income that requires them to file. This includes the homeless, unbanked, certain seniors and some limited English-proficient individuals who will need to provide information to the IRS to get their Economic Impact Payment. If possible, those individuals can use the IRS free online tool to sign up to get an Economic Impact Payment: 3. The IRS has put together a series of videos to help citizens avoid Economic Payment Scams: #IRS has a video tip that can help you avoid Economic Impact Payment scams. Watch: Watch out for scammers trying to steal your information and money, using Economic Impact Payments as cover. This #IRS video can help: #IRS has seen scammers trying to prey on vulnerable taxpayers who are unaware of how their Economic Impact Payments will reach them. Staying informed can help you avoid these scams: Watch an #IRS video on how to avoid Economic Impact Payment-related scams: What’s the best way to avoid Economic Impact Payment scams? Watch this #IRS video: 4. Some, if not all, of the government stimulus money is being sent as a debit card through the mail (i.e., EIP = Economic Impact Payment).  The envelope is marked Money Network Cardholder and absolutely looks like an advertisement---far from anything official.   Many people are mistakenly throwing it away thinking it is trash. Info here: Lost or stolen cards can be replaced by calling 1-800-240-8100. 5. Grow with Google has launched a series of free virtual workshops on digital skills. Grow with Google OnAir offers training and virtual one-on-one coaching sessions to help learners in your community gain the skills needed to stay connected and productive. Topics include tools for growing a small business online, to tips for working remotely to creating a compelling resume. Spread the word about these new virtual workshops, and click here for our current virtual digital skills workshops and their descriptions. 6. Capital Area United Way, in an effort to continue to assist families and individuals with financial literacy education post COVID-19, has partnered with Capital One to host two additional webinars dedicated to sharing information on credit and managing debt. The first webinar will take place on June 1, 2020 at 11:00 AM. The event will be an open session, presented by Deborah Graham, discussing the important of building and maintaining credit. She will also highlight information on credit score and credit score protection. Anyone interested in attending can log into Zoom by clicking the link below. The second webinar will take place on June 8, 2020 at 11:00 AM. Deborah Graham will give tips and guidelines on how to manage debt. You can attend this webinar by clicking the link below:

Patrick Tuck (4-H):

LSU AgCenter virtual 4-H Summer Camp to begin June 8


Week 10 TOPIC 

Program Digital Migration


Craig Gehring (Mastery Prep)

  • The challenge with K-12 is how to mandate to students that they'll do a virtual program when they’re going to have issues with accessing the internet 

  • Mastery Prep decided to build an actual class (virtually)

  • Went through 20 different video conferencing and virtual classroom providers and went through pros and cons (Link to this research here)

  • We then went with a technology company called Nuro. I had some instructors who were struggling with the virtual transition. We had to have a full 2 weeks of training on executing a virtual environment (everyone started from scratch). Came up with dozens of ways to use a virtual classroom to drive up engagement. Get parent feedback and instructor feedback

  • Our mission is to help low income and first-generation students to get scholarships 

  • Last year we serve 175,000 students through partnership method 

  • We send material directly to students home and chose software that worked on any platforms including smartphones

  • We set up a backup dial number where they can answer questions and participate without internet 

  • Recommendation: You don’t want teachers to go more than a minute without a check-in

    • Primary way we’ve been doing this is through a chat window 

    • Kids who are more silent through class participate more via chat 

Patrick Tuck (4H)

  • All of our school systems are saying they’re going with google classroom

  • We’ve chosen a different software

  • As parents, we were completely left out of the training loop

  • It's a bad idea not to engage parents in the training of the software

  • Could you address both those things?

    • “Parents have to get the training. In K12 we hear a lot of students that say their parents aren’t engaged. We ask them if they’ve empowered their parents to be engaged and the answer is usually no. We try hard to engage parents in workshops and give them context to what's happening.” - Craig. G

    • “The challenge is getting instructors really good at one tool and telling the school it would be nice if they also used that same tool”. - Craig. G

Jada Lewis (City Year)

  • It was hard for us to transition to virtual service with our corps members

  • School partners were having trouble with attendance

  • We spent time trying to figure out how to make students get creative with delivering content 

  • How did you all transition? Do you have techniques to increase motivation?

    • “It depends on the partner we’re working with and what they’re trying to do. We have a 6-hour 1-day boot camp. If we’re doing 30-90 hours of classwork, the most we want to do in a day is 1.5 hours. We definitely have to take breaks, although if these are too long there’s falloff. We use Kahoot, which is this fun, competitive quiz platform. One thing we train our instructors to do is look at data on engagement. There are grant programs that we work with that give students incentives.” - Craig. G

Casey Phillips (Walls Project)

  • Do you think digitization can translate well for most in-person training?

    • “If you don't have digital content don’t transfer all of your curriculum to digital platforms. We chose milestones first and gradually digitized everything. We delivered boot camps to nonprofits to transfer.” -Craig.G 

Cheryl Cummings (Walls Project, Futures Fund)

  • Definitely have a team of about 5 people. Information share wasn’t a thing and we didn’t take notes.

  • Learning how to digitize curriculum has been a bit of a challenge.

    • “Definitely have a team that’s solely focused on this transition”- Casey Philips

Coffee Chat @ 9 AM: Preview of Week #11 Topic  “How Is Everyone Transitioning Back Into the Office”:

Raymond Jetson (MetroMorphosis)

  • We’re not rushing to get back into the office the same way we were before.

  • When we do go back we will stagger in how many people are in the office at once 

  • Our number one value is the safety and wellbeing of our team

  • Change mentatility on “What is the work the world needs from us now?”

Katherine McGraw (Empower 225)

  • Next week we will start going into apartment complexes 

  • Communities have invited us into parks and apartments 

  • We are going to do employment programs on-site

Casey Philips (Walls Project)

  • We will not have our staff back in the office before August

  • We hope BRCC and Southern open their campus for program on Saturdays

  • I've reached out to baton rouge gallery, we have a mobile apparatus with a large screen

  • We’ll go to Howell park and have a pavilion to have open outdoor classes in the Fall for Baton Roots

Tristi Charpentier (Wilson Foundation)

  • Organizations are not planning on going back until there is a vaccine

  • Figuring out how to have a large meeting virtually until next year 

  • Facebook, Twitter, and Google will transition to fully virtual operations in some departments

Week 10 Chat & Additional Resources:

From Patrick Tuck (8:38 AM):

We personally experienced parents being completely left out of the training. From Casey Phillips (8:45 AM):

Craig - do you think digitization can translate well for most in-person programs?

From Jada Lewis (8:47 AM):

MY question is around motivation and engagement for multiple hours. The students and corps members were fatigued and we had to negotiate with school partners to drop from 6 hours to 4 hours per day Pacing is key and diversifying content delivery; we spent most of our time working on creative engagement and breaking things up with "brain breaks" exercises and infusing SEL into it; even some yoga sessions, etc with our students From Patrick Tuck (8:55 AM):

Yes, 4-H uses Kahoot a bunch and has been even in in-school meetings.

From Patrick Tuck (9:03 AM):

4-H program leaders across the nation are discussing virtual delivery specialists as new positions.

From Edy Addison (9:12 AM):

CAUW offices are closed to the public. Our staff can choose to work virtually or from the office until the end of Phase 1. Those in the office must wear masks, temp check, and no using common spaces like the conference rooms with more than one person. From Tristi Charpentier (9:18 AM):

Also wanted to share, I saw that Red Cross has made their Psychological First Aid program available for free online: Red Cross Psychological First Aid: Supporting Yourself and Others During COVID-19 The uncertainty associated with a global health crisis like COVID-19 challenges everyone's ability to cope. This course will help you to build resilience and support yourself and others through this crisis by reviewing basic principles of providing psychological first aid, including how to recognize and manage stress in yourself and in others and how to lend support to family members, friends and coworkers during and following the COVID-19 outbreak. From Jada Lewis (9:24 AM):

Chris Dier is the Louisiana Teacher of the Year and one of the 3 finalists for the National Teacher of the Year. He works in St Bernard Parish. Amazing advocate and his platform is educational equity and cultural competency in teaching

"Give Kindness" Details (Post Photo of Kindness = $500), Paul Franklin:

  1. Submissions should consist of a video or photo of your act of kindness, with a written description, posted to either Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using the hashtag #GiveTogetherNow and #Ogumovement; or a written description submitted at Submissions consisting only of written descriptions should be at least 400 characters.

  2. A person may submit one act of kindness per day.

  3. Submissions should be appropriate for all audiences. Any submission that includes content that is inappropriate, indecent, or obscene, as determined in our sole discretion, will not be eligible.

  4. We will look for submissions that demonstrate sincere and impactful acts of kindness and determine, in our sole discretion, which submissions will result in a direct cash payment to a family in need. If your submission is selected, a community moderator will leave you a comment (on social media posts) or send you an e-mail (for website submissions) to let you know.

  5. For each selected submission, Family Independence Initiative will make a direct cash payment equal to $500 to a family in need (see eligibility requirements) on a first-come, first-served basis, until the earlier of (a) September 1, 2020, or (b) 5,000 submissions successfully result in a direct cash payment (making $2.5 million in aggregate available in direct cash payments).


Week 9 TOPIC

Do More With Less, Together


Tom Donley (featured thought partner)

  • To properly plan the future of your programs and pivot due to COVID you have to have a good understanding of your current finances

  • What is the financial reality in which the organization is experiencing?

  • Start going project by project, program by program, and start building your program and administrative expenses for the next year in this new reality.

  • Invest time into getting caught up on what your funding gap in programs is.

  • Once this (funding gap) is calculated you can take it to the board so they know what to focus on over the next 12 months.

  • Input from others is necessary to climb out of this financial hole that many organizations are in. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance from your board, treasurer, CPA, and even your neighbor who is a banker.

  • Budget is only a third of the pie. There's still a work plan and strategic plan 

  • When organizations start to feel the existential crisis coming on, it’s good to stick with your strategic and development plan.

  • My goal as a finance director is to make it to where the executive director can make split decisions on budgets

Speaker #1

  • Our community event has been canceled, fundraiser in October where we get the bulk of our funds, has been canceled. Have resorted to outreach, not able to host any services or programs this year

    • “Many nonprofit events have been canceled. Creating an online show to replace events that were planning on honoring and recognizing those who helped the community. Will lean heavily on sponsorships, not individual donors. As far as person to person fundraising, we’re relying heavily on our database.” - Tom Donley

Speaker #2

  • We know there will be a change in the fundraising strategy at our organization.  In addition to fundraisers and events what other areas are likely not to be funded in light of COVID-19?

    • “Establish cutoff dates. We come together and put as many resources together as possible to figure out how to get something funded. Partner with other nonprofits on how to best get something funded.  Get everyone involved, even the board. This is always more helpful than not. If you build a well by yourself, you’ll dig your own grave. If you dig it with everyone involved, you’ll have a much deeper well.”- Tom Donley

Speaker #3-4-5-6

  • We had to postpone and cancel about 10 upcoming events 

  • Looking at ways to work with sponsors and partners to help reallocate their funds for direct needs 

  • Have had to pause on community cancer screenings, looking at innovative ways to deliver those screenings

  • Working with funding partners who have aligned their philanthropic dollars to COVID-19 relief to subsidize our programs

  • Able to continue honoring commitments from organizations who have applied for grants through us 

  • Have major unfunded capital projects coming up, will be reevaluating these


Week 8 TOPIC

When To Reopen BR: Part II


Courtney Scott (Mayor’s Office)

  • We are currently planning for City-Parish to be opened back up 

  • Continuing to talk to restaurants, retail, and health providers about best practices 

  • Still looking at things in EBR from a Data-driven standpoint, not a data-driven standpoint

  • Governor Edwards has said May 16th is not a guaranteed date to lift the stay-at-home order

Pat LeDuff (CADAV, Inc)

  • We still have people at businesses serving others without masks and gloves 

    • Is anything being done differently to push this?

      • “Hold these people/organizations accountable. Ask them to please follow guidelines regarding gloves and masks. For any business to be open, they have to have PPE in place. You can also email me or Helen Frink to enforce these guidelines. Mayor Broome will start going places and giving people masks herself to let them know it should be done.” - Courtney Scott

Chelsea Morgan (AHA)

  • The earliest you can go back to your office is May 26th, after this, it will continue to be data-driven with how we reopen

  • "If available, I hope you will join the upcoming Tuesday, May 13th webinar re: Your Health + COVID-19 in Louisiana. I’ve been working to ensure that local physicians, including our Geaux Get Healthy partner – Dr. Tiffany Wesley, are featured and available to answer your questions.  Thank you in advance for registering and promoting this upcoming event. Free feel to forward the email below or send your own version of an invitation using the flyer and registration link: You're welcome to submit questions from your volunteers in advance for speakers to"

Gwen Hamilton (New Schools BR)

  • Start thinking of it as “moving away from a new norm to a new reality”.

  • Have a rallying cry for summer school for children in the parish 

    • “Strong Start 2020”

  • Use CARES Act dollars to address learning loss

Jan Moller (Louisiana Budget Project)

  • What happens to the CARES Act money that LA got?

  • $810mill will go to local governments

    • They then have to decide how to distribute that money 

  • The money can’t be used to fill budget holes, can only be for COVID-related expenses, even if it resulted directly from the shutdown

  • Next week will be a big week for determining how this will affect finances at a state and local level 

  • There is an amount allocated for education and childcare 

Helen Frink (Mayor’s Office)

  • In response to Casey’s question, “Read that there will be an estimated $23M drop in revenues for the City in addition to the St. George annexation coming what kind of impact can we anticipate to City-Parish services, program funding, and employment?"

  • There will be a shortfall but won’t know about tax revenue until the end of May. No one from the Mayor’s Office has been furloughed or laid off


From patmleduff to Everyone: (08:52 AM) Providing masks and gloves at the door of businesses is the answer! 

From Edy Addison to Everyone: (08:57 AM) I have to hop off for another call. CAUW had our first fresh produce delivery for nonprofit ALICE employees yesterday. We did this in partnership with Capitol City Produce as a direct result of this call a few weeks ago on food access. Keep up the good work Casey.


  • “We are all asked to love our neighbor. Show your love by wearing a face-covering in public. This can literally save a life. Our senior citizens are our post-war generation, we owe it to them; our essential workers are on the front line for our community, we owe it to them; our families are the inspiration to get through the pandemic as safely as possible, mask up for them. Who do you mask up for?” - Mayor Sharon Weston Broome

  • Social distancing ensures that while we are doing essential activities, we are not exposing ourselves and others to harm unnecessarily. 

  • Wearing a mask helps slow the spread of COVID-19. Help protect yourself and your loved ones, and our community as a whole by wearing any type of mouth covering in public. 

  • Join us online this Saturday, at 10:30 am for a session on in-person and virtual communication skills, led by Mrs. Christine Asaaf--one of Futures Fund's most dedicated supporters! 

  • Parents: We would like your input! We know how much you want to know what's going on in your child's Futures Fund journey, and we also know how hard it can be to get that information from them. Moving forward, we want to create more space for parents to receive information first-hand and interact with other parents of the program. So, let's connect virtually! Below is a short survey that lets us know exactly what you're looking for and what works best for you. We want to create platforms for you, with your input. (About 5 mins).


Week 7 TOPIC

When To Reopen BR?


Courtney Scott (Mayor-President Broome’s Office)

  • Baton Rouge is NOT Date driven, we’re Data-driven

  • Mayor Broom let 41 restaurant owners know the state of the community is in their hands. The environment they set will determine the livelihood of the community. Have made it clear, customers cannot go inside. Asked restaurants to not turn on outside fans, remove items that may cause frequent touching, sanitize after every customer, etc

  • On May 16th there will be more guidelines offered on how to convene in offices

  • They will send out information from the CDC and OSHA to give info on how to work together safely

  • Trying to determine who is genuinely essential

  • Recommend doing temperature checks

    • Talk to them about making conscious decisions about who they are around on a daily basis 

  • Making sure people understand the importance of this virus

  • 225-389-2000, report to BRPD that businesses are open that shouldn’t be or when people are gathering where they shouldn’t be 

  • Reaching people in many untraditional ways as possible

  • 200,000 masks have been distributed to the community

  • Governor is reaching out to Hanes to receive more masks

  • All grocery store workers are required to wear masks

  • Reached out to untraditional pockets of people, teenagers, millennials, etc

  • BR is technically not even at phase 1

    • Once in phase 1, more resources and supplies will be available

    • More at risks communities will be supplied first  

      • Food banks, churches, nursing homes, senior citizens

  • Courtney and Helen will join next week’s Community Check-In call. They would like to hear feedback on what the needs of the community are on in preparation for Phase 1.

  • Contact Courtney Scott: 225-389-7956 (office)

Judith Rhodes (LSU)

  • LSU is going to be phasing back in. So far they will just try to open up labs, other faculty members will remain home 

Raymond Jetson (MetroMorphosis)

  • Metromorphosis will reopen using proper precautions and safety measures

  • Begin in small shifts

Girard Melancon (BRCC)

  • In  the process of finishing students from Spring

  • Nursing students are on campus

  • Trying to phase repopulating all their sites after May 15th

Maliah Mathis (Big Buddy)

  • Figuring out how to switch summer program to a virtual program

Chelsea Moreau (AHA)

  • No plan to go back into office as of now

Pat LeDuff (CADAV Inc)

  • Both upcoming events for the year will more than likely be canceled

 Emanuel “Boo Milton” & BREC Response to COVID-19

Drive-In Wifi (Keep Citizens Connected Initiative)

  • BATON ROUGE, LA -- May 1st, 2020 -- Drive-In Wifi (Keep Citizen Connected Initiative)  is an initiative created by Emanuel “Boo Milton” in partnership with BREC(Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge.)in order to connect citizens with online access through Free Wifi during times when public resources such as libraries where citizens usually can connect to the digital world are not open. We understand internet access is needed for many people due to COVID-19 interruptions and a digital disconnect can cause families and individuals to be at a disadvantage when it comes to daily life activity. With this in mind, we have set up designated BREC sites for citizens to access wifi from the comfort of their car starting May 1st, 2020. In efforts to continue social distancing efforts, we ask that citizens remain in their cars while using this service. For more information or contact



Review of Past Topics


Week 1 Topic “Our Kids”

Patrick Tuck (LSU Ag)

Gwen Hamilton (New Schools BR)

Jada Lewis (City Year)

  • Launching a social media effort for social-emotional learning and videos to prep students before their virtual learning

  • Teacher and administration appreciation

Jan Ross (Wilson Foundation)

  • Is there a way of creating a virtual summer camp?

  • Led by Boys & Girls Club

Katherine McGraw (Empower 225)

  • Have been partnering with 3 O’clock Project and EBR schools to provide food, breakfast, hot lunch, and diapers

  • Don't have any more EBR schools on board, had to cut back 

  • Tomorrow at 9 AM will be partnering with the food bank at Healing place on Highland road to give away 1,500 boxes

Cheryl Cummings (Futures Fund)

  • Cox and Exxon teamed up to sponsor 100 Chromebooks to 100 EBR students (Futures Fund, Upward Bond, Metromorphosis, Front Yard Bikes, and 100 Black Men) * FF is launching a virtual workshop series on topics related to the coding program (see below)

Walls Coordinates Technology Gift For EBR Kids

  • Cox Communications and ExxonMobil announced they’re joining forces to provide technology to support learning from home in EBR. Futures Fund coding program is facilitating the distribution of laptops with our partners at Metromorphosis, 100 Black Men, Upward Bound (Southern University), and Front Yard Bikes. Together we have identified students from low-income households who need technology to help them learn from home (full press release).  

  • Futures Fund Continues Virtually with Online Workshops

Week 2 Topic “Financial Solvency” Jan Ross (Wilson Foundation)

  • Next week decisions will be made on trustees for grant application from February 

  • Continuing to be flexible with grant awarding

  • Don’t have enough funds to solve everything 

  • Reach out to all sources of solutions and only consider us as part of the solution, not THE solution 

  • BRAF has a small response fund

  • Considering an additional response to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • As the stay-at-home order is lifted, a lot will show up 

David Beach (Wilson Foundation)

  • “We are an open door. If we can help you find solutions, we’re open to exploring those things with you at any given time”.

  • 211 has information on where food is available

  • If you are an organization providing food you need to contact CAUW to let them know exactly what you are doing

  • If you’re a family with a school child you can get box lunches for up to 10 days 

  • Find information on which types of food sites you can go to

  • Do not have to go with your child

Week 3 Topic "Wave Of Unemployment” Girard Melancon (BRCC)

  • EmployBR is only focusing on prior ITA applications, prior to March

  • All other programs have been converted to a virtual setting

  • Will be recruiting for May classes and reprogramming hands-on learning

"Starting this fall, The FUTURES FUND will expand its ‘CODING FOR THE WEB’ training offering to include adults recently unemployed due to COVID-19, veterans, and out-of-school youth (OSY), known also as “vulnerable” or “opportunity” youth. To increase the accessibility of the program, FUTURES FUND is not only offering extending Saturday classes but also Tuesday/Thursday evenings as a weekday schedule alternative. This will ensure that trainees are able to finish at an accelerated rate to be able to pursue the next level of education or workforce training. Additionally, as our curriculum continues to be digitized, we will be able to offer training remotely if stay-at-home orders persist into the next semester."

Week 4 Topic “Covid Mental Health Toll”

"You are the light of the world. Shine, and darkness will disappear.” - Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)

Week 5 Topic "‘Fresh Food Access For The Poor”

Mitchell Provensal (Baton Roots)

  • Food supply chains are being disrupted

  • Increasing capacity at Baton Roots community farm

  • Howell Park

  • Expanding footprint at schools to increase production

  • Produce distributed through Grow Baton Rouge and Top Box

"Beginning in the Fall of 2020, Baton Roots Community Farm will expand its farm production capacity to cover all 4-acres at BREC’s Howell Community Park, as well as expanded production sites through three satellite gardens located at Scotlandville High, Capitol High, and Glen Oaks High. This expansion to 5 acres allows Baton Roots to increase access of fresh vegetables to our most food-insecure neighbors, provide employment opportunities, and shift the culture towards health and nutrition."

4.24 Zoom Chat Notes & Resources:

From Angela Robertson to Everyone: (08:34 AM)

Good morning everyone - Angela Davis Robertson

From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone: (08:47 AM)

Good morning, NexusLA and Apprenti Louisiana has a list of technology resources to learn and jump-start a career in IT. Casey, I'll email you the list to share with all. The list is too long to list here.

From Tristi to Everyone: (08:49 AM)

The Center for Development and Learning has been creating literacy lessons for kids K-3, as well as at-home strategies for parents. They are posted on their social media and cataloged on their youtube channel:

From Edy Addison to Everyone: (08:49 AM)

CAUW is interested in funding technology access and connectivity for students. Please reach out to me if you know of students/districts still in need and not covered by their districts current offerings.

From Jada Lewis to Everyone: (08:49 AM)

Follow City Year Baton Rouge on Social media... Lots of inspiration, morning greetings, and SEL content will be posted under #cybrstillserving

From Cheryl to Everyone: (08:50 AM)

Cheryl Cummings - The Futures Fund

From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone: (08:51 AM)

A Forward BR Virtual Lunch & LearnJoin Dr. Stewart Gordon, Louisiana Healthcare Connection, along with co-host, Cate Heroman, early childhood consultant, as they lead a virtual discussion on the effects of COVID-19 on children and ways adults can help. Presenters will discuss the impact of stress on the brain while offering insight on how the COVID-19 pandemic compares to other Louisiana disasters. They will give age-based tips for parents to implement when helping their children cope. Presenters will also offer self-help ideas for parents. This virtual presentation will include 30 minutes of education followed by 30 minutes of Q&A. Join these two influential leaders in Baton Rouge as they present and give their perspective on opportunities to solve or improve key issues related to education, race relations, poverty, transportation, and infrastructure.

From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone: (08:51 AM)

From Symphony to Everyone: (08:54 AM)

I have to leave this meeting but thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of these meetings.

From Patrick Tuck to Everyone: (08:55 AM)

Hi all -- headed out to the LACAL meeting. Thank you for your work! See you soon!

From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone: (08:56 AM)

Hi all - Thank you for the opportunity to participate. I have to connect with an Apprenti team meeting. Stay safe!

From Kelli Rogers to Everyone: (08:59 AM)

I have to get on another call as well. Thanks, everyone!

From Jada Lewis to Everyone: (09:03 AM)

City Year Baton Rouge is recruiting 18-25-year-olds to serve with us next year. This is a great opportunity to support students in public schools in the Fall when they will need additional support. Please refer them here:

From Danielle Mack to Everyone: (09:05 AM)

Wonderful meeting and happy to take part this morning. I am getting on another call now. Thank you for the invitation and have a great weekend.

From patmleduff to Everyone: (09:09 AM)

thanks, Casey - we need it in Winbourne- transportation is an issue

From Katherina McGraw to Everyone: (09:11 AM)

Kat McGraw Empower 225

From Judith Rhodes to Everyone: (09:11 AM)

Thank you all. I have another meeting. Best, Judith

From patmleduff to Everyone: (09:11 AM)

also, it is being suggested that unemployment application calls come in 10 pm - 4 am

From Leslie Clay to Everyone: (09:18 AM)

All of the parishes are distributing masks as a result of the repurposing of factories throughout the state.  The mask distribution should get better over time.  Thanks, Gwen for sharing.

From patmleduff to Everyone: (09:19 AM)

get the unemployment office involved with this meeting



Food Access for the Poor


Mitchell Provensal (Baton Roots):

  • The crisis has shined a light on how fragile the food system is and the disparities in health in lower-income communities.

  • Baton Roots will expand its community farm to produce as much food as possible for the community.

    • Grow food where people need it the most

    • Farm will be a full 4 acres over the next 12 months

    • Will grow over 200,000 lbs of food

    • Food that Baton Roots grows will go through partners and directly to the community 

  • Garden in a box - We are doing a pilot with our youth program students over the next month, then we will begin to roll out for the masses with three different tiered options.

Terreca Bates-Wells (Capital City Produce):

  • Farming industry is built to service 2 industries

    • Retail & Service food industry 

  • Small farmers still have fixed costs

  • Farmer’s market farmers need to sell products at premium pricing to make a profit

    • Can buy a crate of strawberries at the store for $5 but a farmer’s market farmer would still need to sell theirs for $15 - $20

  • When billing grocery stores they look for demographics of middle-class income shoppers

    • Capital City placed a community garden on their property and all products grown will be donated to Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank

  • Need to get businesses connected to the community

  • Capitol City Produce garden is growing garlic, green onion, baby lettuce, eggplant, cucumbers, watermelons, tomatoes, etc

  • Want to help the small grower by selling products at a premium price

    • Communities often face the issue of price

    • This means we probably can’t partner with local farmers because of this reason because they are working against each other

  • Understanding the culture and what types of food you provide

    • Reintroduce them to what is familiar to them 

    • Growing 2 different types of food based on who you’re trying to serve 

Raymond Jetson:

  • Any way Metromorphosis can contribute to the distribution, let them know how they can help mobilize this network

Edy Addison:

  • Families are saying their typical pantries are closed

  • Have been connecting families directly to SNAP

  • Trying to figure out the delivery of food to demographics who are more at risk


From Katie Pritchett to Everyone: (08:40 AM) will this be able to utilize volunteers?

From Casey Phillips to Everyone: (08:41 AM) Katie, absolutely! We are ramping up paid staff to give people jobs in April/May and when the governor and Mayor Broome approve volunteers being on-site we will welcome the help!

From patmleduff to Everyone: (08:49 AM) Awesome!!! GoodJob! come to Scotlandville!! From Katie Pritchett to Everyone: (08:52 AM) We can provide you the zipcodes that have called the most around food COVID resources to see if there are any that don't overlap. My assumption is they are probably the same for the most part.

From Mitchell Provensal to Everyone: (08:53 AM) Yes, thank you Katie. The information would be helpful!

From Edy Addison to Everyone: (08:54 AM) Top zip codes for food need related to COVID from 211 are (in order): 70805, 70802, 70806, 70816, 70815, 70811, 70807, 70726, 70814, 70714.

From Andrea Roberts to Everyone: (08:55 AM) That's helpful. For reference, where'd the data come from?

From Edy Addison to Everyone: (08:56 AM) From 211 calls. We will share the full data set to Casey to distribute.

From David Beach to Everyone: (08:57 AM) When will you roll out the raised garden bed program?

From Kelli Rogers to Everyone: (08:57 AM) Does 2-1-1 have an updated list of the pantries that are open?

From Edy Addison to Everyone: (08:59 AM) We are working on that. Pantry statuses are rapidly changing as so many are run by volunteers that are most at risk of COVID.

From Mitchell Provensal to Everyone: (09:00 AM) Garden in a box - We are doing a pilot with our youth program students over the next month, then we will begin to roll out for the masses with three different tiered options.

From David Beach to Everyone: (09:01 AM) Jan and I have to run. I look forward to hearing about the rest of this conservation.

From lclay to Everyone: (09:01 AM) This is great. I would be interested in working with the program overall and sharing this information/resource with coalitions etc. in 70714. They are one of my specific target areas.

From Katie Pritchett to Everyone: (09:03 AM) United Way wants to help figure out a solution for mass distribution of fresh produce!!

From patmleduff to Everyone: (09:04 AM) Scotlandville - 70807. interested

From Casey Phillips to Everyone: (09:06 AM) Mitchell Provensal (director of Baton Roots Community Farm) -

From CRCL to Everyone: (09:07 AM) This is an amazing initiative and I will commit to help in any way possible to get this up and running. I've got to run. Merci á tous et a la prochaine !

From lclay to Everyone: (09:09 AM) This is great. Sharing my info. Leslie Clay, Regional Manager, Region 2, Louisiana Public Health Institute, Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living -

From tbates-wells to Everyone: (09:11 AM) Terreca Bates-Wells (Director of Special Projects, Capitol City Produce)

From Andrea Roberts to Everyone: (09:11 AM) Andrea Roberts - From patmleduff to Everyone: (09:15 AM) awesome! we must reactivate “Loss Learning Time” cox two mouths free 9.95 a month til May

From Kelli Rogers to Everyone: (09:19 AM) Great call! Thanks everyone!

From Shannon S to Everyone: (09:19 AM) Hey all this is Shannon from Istrouma High. Kory and I are willing to help as much as possible. and

Casey Phillips (update on EBR Schools): * all kids have devices for high school this Monday things the district will kick into gear * 4/20 teachers come back and grades will open again (has been closed) Scenario #1 - Seniors in High School - 4/21 seniors will get notified cut off on grades is 5/12. All seniors will know. - To get C's have to get up to B or A with Google/Zoom - all grades will be given on the 12th Scenario #2 - 9th to 11th - there will be re-engagement on 4/27 and going until 5/21 - Everyone's cut off on 5/22 - AP class will be just the AP exam (there is a tight 45-minute window) - Outside of AP all teachers will have office hours, assignments and give opportunities to get additional grades. - Each school might even have a schedule of classes (MW) and rest of time will be working on assignments



Mental Health


Leaders from organizations shared their best practices of working with their teams to effectively cope with the personal and professional challenges of COVID-19. If you would like to connect with any participants on the call or have resources to share please do not hesitate to reach out.  

Raymond Jetson (Metromorphosis)

  • Put 2 numbers in a survey to his team:

    • How productive do you feel you’ve been (Scale from 1-10)

    • How are you emotionally? (Scale from 1-10)

  • Pair members of organizations and hold accountability check-ins (not about work)

    • Have team meetings about collective care

  • Pay attention to those around us who’ve been closely affected by COVID-19

    • Hold on asking those for help who’ve been hurt

  • Recognize the difference between what is important and urgent vs what is important but NOT urgent

Tracy Smith (Healthy Blue)

  • Ask partners what they want to do with funding previously allocated for upcoming events

    • What are the needs?

      • Should it be put towards COVID-19 relief

  • Will send flyers on basic hygiene 

  • Offer tele-help

    • Can download an app to see health providers through their cell phone, laptop, and tablets

Tristi Charpentier (Wilson Foundation)

  • Encourage people to take breaks

    • Meeting after meeting can weigh heavy on employees

  • Timing/scheduling your day strategically

  • #HeartsFromHomeBR in windows

Tracy White (Cox Communications)

  • Rewarding employees who are sharing their stories with money you can spend at a virtual store

AnnMarie (City Year)

  • Giving corps members webinars to help them with hours

    • Must have 8 hours every 2 weeks to continue receiving a stipend

Symphony Malveaux (Mid City Redevelopment Alliance)

  • Ask what another what’s going on in your life outside of work at the beginning of meetings

    • Being honest about what’s going on mentally helps to not feel alone

  • Trying to figure out what the community is doing

    • Created “Midcity Strong”

    • Placing easter egg pictures in their windows

      • Promoting this on Facebook 

Casey Phillips (Walls Project)

  • Reduced team office hours to 9 am - 3 pm Monday through Friday. Fun activity for the community is put Teddy Bears in the windows families drive around with kids for a scavenger hunt

Leslie Clay (LPHI)

  • At LPHI we are doing some things for the staff like superlatives and sending secret gifts.  We also begin our calls with meditation. 




Wave of Unemployment



* Casey Phillips (Walls Project -

“Wave of Unemployment”   In our Weekly EBR Community Check-In, we discussed the repercussions of the federal relief bills in Louisiana on low-to-moderate-wage workers (mass job loss, unemployment insurance, up-skilling opportunities).  The call was not an uplifting topic as we discussed the 'Wave of Unemployment' that washed ashore in our state.  Projected Louisiana unemployment in March will be 44.9%.  In Q2 about 14% of jobs in Baton Rouge are at high risk of being disrupted or lost because of the coronavirus, according to an analysis by the Brookings Institute.  That number skyrockets to 23% in New Orleans; and 21% in Lafayette are at risk, 28% in Houma for these are more closely tied to the most-impacted industries: oil and gas, transportation, employment services, and travel, leisure, and hospitality, or tourism.  “Louisiana’s economy has already been on the brink of recession for the last 12 months,” said Gary Wagner, professor of economics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “We’re particularly vulnerable at this point,” he said.  “I think it is going to depend on how many workers are displaced and for how long,” Wagner said. “I’ve never seen so much uncertainty.” The Walls has been working elbow to elbow with LWC for the past 3 years to upskill the Louisiana workforce with technology skills.  With EmployBR and GeauxJobs (Ascension/Livingston/Tangi) this will be one of our two primary focuses, the other growing food (disruption in supply chain and its impacts on NorthBR and rural communities living in poverty will be our 4.17 topic).   Walls is also working with LSU on projected models that forecast increases in crime, gun violence, child & spouse abuse due to skyrocketing unemployment and access to food.   * Dr. Judith Rhodes  (SREC/LSU - COVID-19 Unemployment Projections

"One other thing to keep in mind with unemployment is that it is actually a more narrow measure than a lot of folks realize. The government defines the 'labor force' as the sum of the 'employed' (people with formal jobs) and the 'unemployed' (people without formal jobs, but actively searching for work). If you don't have a formal job and are not actively putting in job apps, you aren't considered a member of the labor force and you are not included in these numbers. Lots of people, especially poor young people, don't show up in these numbers at all for this reason. From an intervention perspective, one thing you could focus on is making sure folks with some labor force attachment don't fall out of the labor force entirely. I also used the term 'formal job' above, because the work that people do outside the regulated labor market (work that isn't declared to and taxed by the government) isn't captured by any of the official numbers either.” - Tim Slack (Professor of Sociology/ LSU) 

4.03 Notes from Weekly EBR Community Checkin Provided By: Courtney Holden (Walls Project)

  • (Neva) Families First Act is providing $1 billion dollars in unemployment grants to the states. Here is a link to the multi-lingual Unemployment Insurance Survey

  • (Neva) LA insurance program maxes out at $247/week

    • Has asked the governor to raise this rate

  • (Andrew) Conservative senators are working to get funding for after school programming and quality child care

    • Front line workers need this

    • This is a real opportunity to look to services like these to support the working family 

  • (Casey) Dallas company took displaced service industry workers to go fill in frontline positions

    • Was able to get $1 million dollar payroll 

  • (Maggie) Serve LA will shift job focuses on education and food access

    • Organizations that need members can apply for corps members to start in September 

    • Good opportunity for capacity building

  • (Casey) Walls project is looking for programs for in-school and out of school youth and hire teachers

  • (Shalonda) Parents have been able to pick up academic work packages and meals 

  • (Judith) LSU continuing to do research 

  • (Geno) : “HUD hasn't suspended any statutory deadlines”.

    • For the 2020 funding cycle, the information will be sent via email to prior applicants

    • If your organization has not applied before get with Geno to be placed on the mailing list

  • (Pat) Many families need internet

    • (Casey) Cox Connect program  where internet is free for the first 30 days and $9.99/month for 3 months (see below)

  • (Pat) “School district should enforce a strict class schedule to help parents stay on track with student progression”



Since our email last week, things have become a bit clearer.  The CARES Act passed and was signed by the President, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) has streamlined processes and issued guidance for seeking assistance.  Here’s a quick summary: Economic Injury Disaster Loans

  • The application for EIDL loans has been reduced to a web form.  You can now apply online at

  • You will need to supply your total revenue and COGS for the 12-month period ended January 31, 2020 (or cost of operations for that period for non-profits), your tax ID number, and information on your key shareholders (for for-profits).  You will also be given the opportunity to request a $10,000 advance available within three days.  Check this box!

  • You can apply for both an EIDL and a Payroll Protection Program loan (see below).  You may not get them both, but you will be allowed to convert a portion of your EIDL loan to a PPP loan.  Read on to see why you might want to do that.

Paycheck Protection Program Loans

  • PPP loans, a creation of the CARES Act, are offered through banks and other SBA-approved lenders to small businesses and non-profits.  Start with your bank tomorrow, which is the first day applications are accepted.  Go here:, and follow the bread crumbs.

  • PPP loans are 100% guaranteed by the SBA and should not require collateral or personal guarantees.

  • PPP loans are designed to cover payroll and associated expenses and most other core expenses attendant to running a business (including rent, mortgage interest, and utilities) for the 8 weeks after the PPP loan is made.

  • The loans are FORGIVABLE to the extent that proceeds are used to pay acceptable expenses during that period.  (To the extent the proceeds are not used for acceptable expenses or employees are laid off, the loan forgiveness is reduced according to a formula that has not been finalized yet.)

  • All PPP loan payments, if the principal is not completely forgiven, are deferred for at least 6 months and then the unforgiven principal is amortized over 10 years at no more than 4%.



Financial Solvency


Thank you for spending the time together and contributing to the conversation on “Financial Solvency” for nonprofits and small businesses.  Please see the 3.27 meeting notes, chat posts, and follow-up resources below to help you navigate these uncertain waters to keep staff engaged, employed and ready to deploy services once this pandemic flattens out.  The economic ramifications of COVID-19 will be significant especially for all nonprofits and small businesses in Louisiana.  I appreciate everyone who shared opportunities and resources and special thanks to Jan, Tristi, and David of the Wilson Foundation for sharing their insights.

* Next week’sCommunityCheck-In (Friday 4.03 @ 8:30 am) will be to focus on the "Unemployment Wave" coming to EBR/Louisiana RIGHT NOW! If you would like to connect with any participants on the call or have resources to share please do not hesitate to reach out.   Stay healthy, safe and strong Louisiana!



* Wilson Foundation Updates - Jan Ross (, David Beach (, Tristi Charpentier ( - COVID-19 Stimulus Relief Bill - temporary COVID-19 charitable donation deduction is available, ask Jan about more details to convey to your donors.  SBA loans 7-A loan for nonprofits are now available and some are forgivable - BRAC has a webinar on 3/30 at 11 AM to discuss finance SBA loans re: Stimulus bill - BRAF some funding - most critical needs only - BRAF is keeping a list of needs so send anything to them - reach out via email - Stay in touch with funders - be honest and truthful - Let them know they have a current grant or pending grant and can it carry on - ask if funds can be repurposed? - Staying present on social - This will be economically 18-24 long term recovery response (CAUW) - Prosperity now scorecard (LA citizens and nonprofits can last 3 months before poverty) - If you have access to homemade masks please let Jan know - Currently working on tax answers *  Tayanna Teel (Capital One Bank - - sustainability in nonprofits - looking at operational costs - Shifting in community base for nonprofits - Where they best fit right now and looking at critical needs - Helping young people get into space that is helpful for the benefit of all - Adjusting reporting requirements for direct providers * Sherreta Harrison (Metromorphosis - share her notes from the webinar with Jan Moller from LA Budget Project: - compared to post Katrina, Louisiana won’t be a bounce-back the same - Small business economy is going to get hit hard from this - LA not in a position to weather a recession due to the vulnerability of our 3 biggest industries: 1) hospitality/tourism 2) oil and gas 3) gambling $60m loss per year alone - the budget has to be balanced by July 1st, will be difficult to say the least * Raymond Jetson (Metromorpohosis - - Crisis vs disaster - Long term impact - Capacity and duration - Holistic perspective * Geno McLaughlin (Build Baton Rouge - - 3 o’clock project and EBR feeding sites - New grant cycle for CDBG 2020 will be announced soon by BBR * Casey Phillips (Walls Project - ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL RESOURCES:

* BCBS grants: * SBA Fund - * Tru Fund - * Council of Nonprofits: * LA Tech Park: * STAND TOGETHER application for families living in poverty to receive $500: * Greater New Orleans Foundation Center for Philanthropy webinar on Nonprofit Essentials for Preparing for the COVID-19 Pandemic: Continuity of Operations Planning:

* Next week check-in (Friday 4.03 @ 8:30 am) will be to focus on the "Unemployment Wave" coming to EBR/Louisiana.



Jacquelyn Craddock: NexusLA has a resource page, including information on SBA 7A disaster relief loans, Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency FMLA Expansion Act, and MORE:


Briefing on Emergency Coronavirus Funding for 501(c)(3) Nonprofits:


Regional Stakeholders, during a crisis, timely, accurate, and actionable information is important.  In order to help you get this information, GNO, Inc. is sending out regular updates.  Please see below, and feel free to forward. March 26, 2020 Update News

  • Emergency Stimulus Package – The House of Representatives is set to take up tomorrow the nearly $2T emergency relief package approved unanimously by the Senate late last night.  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes:

    • Payroll Protection Program – (see below)

    • Individual Aid - $1,200 financial assistance for most individuals, plus $500 for children (reduced to about $75K/$150K individuals/couples)

    • State Stabilization Fund - $150B to state and local governments, allocated by population

    • Payroll Tax Credit Refunds – Advance refunds of payroll tax credits enacted in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, giving employers financial assistance to pay for mandated sick and family leave

    • Enhanced Unemployment Insurance – Extension of unemployment to nontraditional employees, and increased overall unemployment assistance for four months

You can read more about the CARES Act here.

  • Paycheck Protection Program (forgivable loans) GNO, Inc. and partners strongly advocated for the “Payroll Protection Program,” which is included in the CARES Act.  The program has been described as a “crucial lifeline” for business and contains two important features:

  • The loans are made directly by private, local banks and CDFIs, which will enhance speed

  • The loans, if used on payroll and other operating expenses, are forgivable

You can see a draft summary of the Payroll Protection Program here.  Please send questions to our VP Policy, Ileana Ledet, at  GNO, Inc. will also host a webinar and release an FAQ in the coming days. Assistance

  • GNOpivot – If you are a business that is pivoting to a new product to serve immediate coronavirus needs, register on, and the GNO, Inc. team will help connect you to customers.

  • LED Email for Questions – You can mail Louisiana Economic Development at with questions related to the impact of the coronavirus.


  • Looking for Work? - In the wake of economic changes that have taken place as a result of the coronavirus, some companies are in need of workers. GNO, Inc. has compiled a running list on of companies looking to fill immediate labor needs.

  • Looking for Employees?  If you have surge hiring needs because of the coronavirus, email Human Capital Manager Evie Poitevent at and we will list your opportunities.

As always, general information is on the GNO, Inc. Coronavirus Business Resource Page.



Resources for Families


  • 4-H Louisiana is posting resources for kids of programs they can use, safety tips for if you have to leave your kids at home.

  • United Way is tracking COVD-19 updates and sending them out via 211. United Way needs volunteers to take 211 calls. Volunteers just need someone who has access to the internet and a lot of phone minutes. These will be 2-hour shifts.

  • The Mayor’s office has small funding allocations to help feed kids during this time. Email Helen Frink for these resources.

  • City Year, AmeriCorps members need virtual professional development training and volunteer opportunities to fulfill community service hours - contact Annmarie Valentin

  • The Food Bank needs volunteers to prepare boxes.

  • If funding is available, the Census needs more people (Pat LeDuff can help connect)

  • EBR schools are working on instructional resources

    • Broken up by grade level 

    • Making sure everyone has resources to continue their online classes for dual enrollment 

    • Schools are assessing content delivery

  • Walls Project will roll out virtual workshops for youth on coding and photography and Baton Roots Community Farm will be leading workshops on growing at home and giving away food in case of food shortages and for those who don’t have access to food.

  • “Cox Communications is giving internet access to low-income families for the next 30 days via Cox Connect2Compete.”- Tracy White


Tracy White: Cox is offering Connect2Compete to families who don’t have an internet connection at home complimentary for 30 days and $9.95 thereafter. Families can apply at or by calling 855-222-3252. Katie.P: The above google doc link is the FAQ from 2-1-1 and LDH. Jon Fitzgerald: Infolink has developed solutions for a wide range of wired and wireless carriers, county and municipality, large public venues, enterprise, and industrial facilities. - Shalonda Simoneaux: Send questions about EBR Schools to Helen Frink: Resources from Mayor Broome via Dropbox - social media info that has been going out that anyone is welcome to use and post

Jan Ross: The team of the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation would like to encourage your participation in the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s Business Survey for COVID-19.  The survey is being used to better understand how organizations are being impacted and responding to this novel threat to our community.  BRAC will also be able to support the nonprofit sector through its advocacy for small businesses.  The link also leads to other informative business resources. In addition, the Small Business Administration has opened low-interest loan opportunities for small businesses - including non-profits - at

Chelsea Morgan: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources on (links to AHA News features, healthy living tips and recipes, well-being and dealing with stress, public health authorities). What Heart Patients Should Know About Coronavirus. Based on early reports, 40% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had cardiovascular disease or cerebrovascular disease (which refers to blood flow in the brain, such as stroke). Click the link to learn more. 

387 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page