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#OneRouge Friday Community Check-In (Week 54, 55)

Updated: May 17, 2021

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 a

cross 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.


'Our Youth, This Summer'

Meeting Notes Prepared by Zoë Haddad (Walls Project)

Featured Speakers

Shanice Robinson (Program Director, BRidge Agency)

  • The BRidge Agency is turning five years old August 23

  • Exist to address the social drivers of crime - why are the kids doing what they’re doing and how do we address trauma

  • Service, empowerment, advocacy

  • Have served over 6,500 families to date

  • 10 unique programs to address drivers of crime in our city including mental health and counseling

  • Mostly serve ages 6-13

  • Announcing summer enrichment programs today on social media

  • All about empowering youth and giving them a voice in their community, providing therapy and counseling if need be

  • Bridging the gap to make a better Baton Rouge

Janel Washington (Senior Program Coordinator, The Futures Fund)

  • Senior Program Coordinator for the Futures Fund - the Tech Academy (youth) and Coding Boot Camp (adults)

  • Youth programing this summer starts June 7 with our partnership with MyWe servicing their youth as training and certification providers in coding and programming

  • 8 week programming workshop with beginning skills of what it takes to get into coding, new technologies, and gauging interest to potentially continue into the full 18 month program with the possibility of future work study, mentorship, and certification (CIW IBC)

  • Fostering relationships with higher ed, job pipelines, and things of that nature

  • Adult coding program is offered to those graduating high school as well as out of school youth (OOSY) who don’t really know where they want to go next

  • Luckily an industry like coding is wide open - getting certifications help move you immediately into jobs

  • Next CBC cohort starts July 6, three different relays - Level I, Level II, Level III

  • Just like our youth program, they then get the IBC CIW certifications upon completion with access to those higher ed and job industry connections as well as internship, apprenticeship opportunities available

  • The main thing is assisting and driving down the unemployment number

  • Targeting the 10 parish region, North Baton Rouge, and specific areas proven to have a large digital gap caused by accessibility

Andrea Roberts (COO, BREC)

  • BREC summer camp will be back in full swing this summer

  • Regular recreation camps that go on at least three field trips every week, place throughout and outside the parish

  • Amazing opportunity for kids who may not otherwise have the chance to visit places like TopGolf, the Audubon Aquarium, etc.

  • Specialty summer camps at Bluebonnet Nature Swamp, Farr Park Equestrian Center, Independence Theater, and so on

  • Find out more here:

Helen Frink (Mayor-President Broome's Office)

  • Worked with the Mayor’s Youth Workforce Experience (MyWe) program for the past three going on four summers

  • Impact on individuals is amazing - we have someone getting hired into City Parish for a full time job after being with us for several years...brought him on as AmeriCorp and he’s now launching a full time career. We see that kind of thing a lot

  • Work very hard to bring in, train, and pay young people and continue following them into the workforce

  • Working to build a database of every young person we engage and make sure we are serving both them and their families with wraparound services to prepare them for the future

  • Lifting up and preparing young people is a major priority of Mayor Broome

  • Today (Friday May 7) is the last day we’re taking applications for our summer cohort but we do have year long opportunities for workforce development

  • We are placing 11th and 12th graders into host sites this summer. We’re prioritizing safety during the pandemic so our middle and 9th/10th graders are on a virtual training program. 11th and 12th grade host sites can do just about anything - identify a workplace mentor to have them doing anything from answering phones, filing, etc. Just reach out to and I can connect to Big Buddy

Additional Summer Programs

Christian Engle (YMCA)

  • New CDC guidelines for summer camps are extremely restrictive. Several entities are advocating at the national office to get the guidelines alleviated. Right now they are mandating that kids are in masks 99.9% of the time even outdoors, requiring 6 feet of distance. Just want to put it out there for people to be aware of. YMCA camps are filling up quickly which is both a good and bad thing with the new guidelines. All of our pools are open, everything is moving as normal.

  • Our biggest thing right now is we are probably two steps away from entering the Early Childhood Education Programs. Nationally the YMCA is the largest provider of childcare services. Taking advantage of our brand and entering that world here soon.

Katherina McGraw (Empower 225)

  • This year we have capacity for 50 youth from 70805, 70806, 70802, etc. areas at the Dream Center and then 50 youth at the FISC center

  • 8 day summer camp with 4 days in June and 4 in July

  • Provide them with life skills, field trips, encouragement, leadership, technology, tutoring, educational pieces...everything they need for the ‘21-22 school year

  • Email for more info:

Lindi Spalatin (McMains Foundations)

  • Capable Arts Program geared towards kids with developmental delays, not just McMains children, anyone can come

  • Only summer camp designed for that demographic and their siblings

  • Open to thirty people this year to make sure we keep everything safe

  • Arts camp, there’s a movement element, four day long camp in June

  • Finalizing the information, but the theme will be summer olympics this year

  • Our No Such Thing as Impossible Bike Ride is in two weeks, raises money for our Wheels to Succeed programs

  • Participate or come out to support our riders

  • Already raised over $40k to get bikes for kids with physical disabilities and developmental delays

  • 10 mile, 40 mile, 70 mile ride

Emily Chatelain (Three O’ Clock Project)

  • Partnered with BREC, YMCA, and a few other programs to deliver meals every day to camps and field trip programs

  • Not yet confirmed what EBR Schools are planning but I believe they may be doing home deliveries, working to better understand what they’re doing so we can fill the gaps and not duplicate efforts

  • We’d like to see home delivery available again this summer in some way

  • If you need meals for your camps, please let me know.

  • Also, we are struggling to get enough food vendors to meet the need. We’re trying to figure out logistics and delivery. Partnering with several local restaurants. If you know of any restaurants or entities that would want to partner with us, let us know. This summer with camps opening up in person we have to be everywhere at the same time.

Kelly Welch (ExxonMobil)

  • In an effort to get some of our North BR youth into our facilities to see available career options, we are putting together a program for incoming seniors and graduating seniors to come work at the site

  • A pilot program, so only taking in about 6 students for this summer

  • Start in June and go through early August

  • The kids are going to shadow some of our specialists so they’ll get to see the different careers that they can build if they decide to pursue a trade

  • I will send out application info, we’ll have a Zoom call for parents on May 17, applications due May 21, Zoom or in person interviews

  • Good paying job for the summer

  • We will be asking for a teacher recommendation and to see a transcript but GPA is not a determining factor

  • Must be at least 16 with parental consent required under 18

Patrick Tuck (Louisiana 4-H Foundation)

  • Camp Grant Walker is not functioning this summer so about 6,000 kids will not travel to Fishville, LA to have that experience. There is a bill in the House right now that’s a check box - won’t be on this year’s, but if you want to donate on your state income tax next year you can. I’ve got several donors lined up but it just takes time. Multi-million dollar recovery effort recovering from Laura and Delta.

  • We have several summer traveling camps around the state. EBR is already full. OOSY Coalition had a session yesterday with a couple of internet providers - my personal hope is that the larger coalition work we’re doing with CPEX will help us centralize so we’re not building three or four different places to go to find youth opportunities on a year round basis. Excited about the potential progress there. Dr. Narcisse has said that that coalition will be a crucial part of what he does with OOSY programming.

Rhonda Robison (UpwardBound - Southern U)

  • Actively preparing for the summer session - run a six week summer camp on Southern’s campus

  • This year will actually be 100% virtual

  • Gearing up in academic courses and preparing for the upcoming school year

  • Working with Futures Fund Saturday sessions

  • Plan to engage in a STEM board partnership where students can learn a bit around cybersecurity, robotics, and sensor building

  • Year round program, work on Saturdays during the school year

Gwen Hamilton (NSBR)

  • Young Entrepreneurs Academy is accepting applications for the ‘21-22 cohort where they train young entrepreneurs grade 8-12 to form their own business from the bottom up with a dedicated mentor

  • Cohort of 30

  • Applications are online now

  • Let’s think about next year and work really hard to identify gaps in services. We’re all limited by space, personnel, and budget and we all feel that we’re not serving everybody. Let’s try to collect data from these wonderful programs so we will know where we’re not meeting the need. Families do not come in pieces - wraparound services are ideal, but kids have different interests and needs.

Reginald Brown (Gardere Initiative)

  • Summer program for kids ages 9-12, hire high school students through MyWe to be counselors

  • June 7 - July 28, M-TH

  • Also - our 15th year in Gardere so please join us as we begin our year of anniversary celebrations starting in June!

Edy Addison (CAUW)

  • Over the holidays a few funders and nonprofits that provide services to kids in schools got together to talk about the difficulty that providers were having working in school systems during the pandemic. Now going into our fourth convening of the Out of School Time Providers in Baton Rouge

  • One of our goals is providing collaborative summer opportunities so that youth providers can jointly recruit and provide programming

  • Looking for that in summer programming into the fall

  • Our next meeting is May 14 - we have four different working groups talking about community building, field building, cross site training, and summer collaborative programming

  • Email if interested:

Community Announcements

Liz Smith (BR Alliance for Students)

  • No summer offerings for youth but Changemakers applications are open and we will be accepting those all summer

  • Leadership development program focused on public education in Baton Rouge

  • Help folks engaged in the community to learn more about the education ecosystem

  • There’s a lot going on with the school system over the summer so we’ll be paying attention to what’s going on with the budget process, the federal funds slated to come to school districts, and they’re going to launch their strategic plan for final review in June which is something our community needs to pay attention to

Myra Richardson

  • TEDxScotlandville event May 22, 2021

  • Partnered with Walls Project, BREC, MetroMorphosis, the Mayor’s Office

  • Amazing lineup of people (including the Mayor!) from the Scotlandville community

  • Wonderful opportunity for Baton Rouge and Louisiana to represent a community that has historically been disenfranchised to share that story of resiliency

  • Press conference is going to happen in two weeks so you’ll see more flyers circulating soon

  • Both in person and virtual

  • Held at the BREC Greenwood Park

  • If anyone would like to be showcased or participate in any way, they are closing that on Wednesday. Email for collaboration opportunities.

Boo Milton

  • Providing free eye examinations for youth right now

  • Focusing on ages 6-12 but we have exceptions up to age 17

  • We provide glasses if needed

  • Eye screenings that happen at schools don’t catch everything - optical health is deeper than just the need for glasses

  • Email to sign up

  • As for grief and mental health services - Always like to suggest Humanities Amped as a source for healing and mental check in for youth

  • Great at making healing a part of daily practice, fit into programming without feeling like you’re going off course...make it more natural and organic

Reverend Anderson (PREACH)

  • For those of us in the legislature, as the community opens up we’ll have opportunities to work with older youth on getting out here on everything from gerrymandering to voter engagement to civics education for the EBRP Prison Reform Coalition. We’re actually getting ready to open up our court watch training again

  • Targeting Baton Rouge City Court, an opportunity for high school students, whether it is the Power Coalition, VOTE, Capital Area Reentry, Connections for Life...all of us that work in the incarceration space are always looking for volunteers. Great way for incarceration-impacted youth to own their power

  • Wanted to invite everybody to the EBR Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Community meeting at the River Center Library May 11 at 6 at the Library

  • Everybody in our community is a part of our community

  • We cannot keep isolating criminal justice. We need as many community partners with community resources to be in these conversations about public safety

  • Want to encourage our youth providers to make time to come into that space, share resources and tools you have

Luke St. John (MetroMorphosis)

  • The Mayor’s office just relaunched the My Brother’s Keeper campaign

  • Initiative under the Obama Foundation dedicated to identifying and addressing the systemic and structural barriers impacting boys of color from city to city and state to state

  • Relaunched in April and have created a diverse steering committee of key stakeholders and folks impacted by these decisions and structures

  • Now forming action tables around local and national data and listening sessions which will be impactful around public safety, education, and workforce

  • In order for this to be effective, we need community involvement, the voice of folks who live in Baton Rouge and represent the interests of Baton Rouge

  • Created a three minute community feedback form that will allow the steering committee to craft strategies

  • Please use the link to complete the survey about what you believe is important for this type of work in Baton Rouge and please share at work as well

Jan Ross (Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation)

  • Center for Mind Body Medicine has been putting on webinars once a month since November on techniques of mind-body in addressing trauma with individuals and starting in June they will put on a year long program which is a train the trainer type model

  • Providing skill-building on techniques, adding to the tool box for those serving individuals whether it be through therapy or after school programs

  • When it comes to the Out of School Provider Coalition, just in convening the providers has been huge and has really taken off mainly because Dr. Narcisse recognized the benefit OOSY providers could create if they partnered with the schools. Contact Edy at United Way to get on the mailing list. Focuses are on summer programming as well as building the infrastructure of the OOS provider field along with training and other collaborative efforts

Alfredo Cruz (Foundation for Louisiana)

  • Link to our Housing Survey for the Housing First Alliance Report

  • Looking for more community input

Pat LeDuff (CADAV)

  • Master plan with Southern University has started, asking for feedback: survey here

  • Also, wanted to announce our partnership with BREC for our June 12th pre-Juneteenth celebration at Scotlandville Park at the Harding Blvd entrance

Concerning transportation for low and no wealth youth:

  • CATS is still on a limited schedule and both Uber and Lyft are not affordable for many young people

  • BRidge Agency will have transportation for youth unable to access transportation

  • Empower 225 will also be providing transportation on a case by case basis

Zoom Chat

8:30:47 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

08:39:25 From Tonnisha Ellis - BRAC to Everyone:

I want to share this info. Do you have a flyer for the adult program?

08:42:03 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Are at risk youth prioritized for participation?

08:42:55 From Helen Frink - Mayor's Office to Everyone:

08:43:13 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Since public transit is still so constrained and Lyft and Uber are not affordable for youth is there any effort to create work opportunities in low and no wealth communities?

08:44:03 From Helen Frink - Mayor's Office to Everyone:

As always if you are interested in more information about the program or engaging as as a host site or mentor, please send me a text or email 225-427-5005

08:44:36 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Can you provide information on what is required of a host site?

08:45:12 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Will the horrible bill in the legislature impact BREC's programming?

08:46:31 From Andrea Roberts to Everyone:

It certainly may. We don't yet know how because the authors of the bill presented no plan for any of this.

08:46:35 From Helen Frink - Mayor's Office to Everyone:

Rev. Anderson, yes we target low income youth and ensure they are set up to be able to attend their worksite. This year our training program for middle school through 10th grade is a virtual training experience and we are also providing tech support to those that need it

08:47:07 From Andrea Roberts to Everyone:

BREC is still looking for summer staff as well. We have LOTS of open positions. Liberty Lagoon will be open this summer also!!

08:47:44 From Emily Chatelain to Everyone:

Fun Fact - I taught horse riding lessons while at LSU at the Farr Park BREC summer camp :) best job

08:47:47 From Christian Engle-YMCA of the Capital Area to Everyone:

As we talk about summer camps, everyone should be aware of the CDC's "newly" released guidelines for summer Camp. The new guidelines are extremely restrictive. Our national office is advocating for changes, but as of right now these guidelines should be very concerning for everyone.

08:47:50 From Andrea Roberts to Everyone: - we still need lifeguards, camp counselors, etc...

08:48:27 From Manny Patole (he/him | CCBR) to Everyone:


08:48:52 From Liz Smith to Everyone:

Dr. Smith's Eye Care is awesome. Thanks, Boo!

08:49:03 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone:

In terms of Summer Camp, our Capable Arts Camp will be held this year on June 21-24. Only camp for kids with disabilities AND their siblings in the area. We'll be opening registration soon. IF you want more information please let me know.

08:49:04 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

That's such an important need!

08:49:19 From Shanice Robinson to Everyone:

IG BridgeAgencyINC

Facebook The Bridge Agency

Twitter BridgeAINC

08:51:01 From Katherina McGraw- Empower225 to Everyone:

Empower 225 will be doing a summer camp as well 13-17 years old and we will be in two sites this summer at FYSC and at the Dream Center. If you need more information please email us at

08:51:09 From Shanice Robinson to Everyone:

Call us at (225)238-7248

Questions or to volunteer:

08:52:32 From Jen Tewell (she/her) to Everyone:

Grief Recovery will be announcing a kids grief camp for the summer - more info soon! We're also launching an adult peer support group "Living Well with Mental Illness" - for flyers/registration etc. email me at

08:53:02 From Gwendolyn Hamilton to Everyone:

Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) is accepting applications for the 21-22 cohort. You can learn more at Students grades 8-12 are eligible to apply.

08:53:08 From Judith Rhodes to Everyone:

08:53:30 From Emanuel Boo Milton to Everyone: if you have any questions and ideas to collaborate in light of the “Brighter Future Program” making access to better optical health easier ..

08:53:54 From Helen Frink - Mayor's Office to Everyone:

If you are hosting summer camp/opportunities this year please email them to, would love to promote to the youth we are unable to fit into our program this summer. Those emails will be going out over the next two weeks

08:54:45 From Helen Frink - Mayor's Office to Everyone:

Amazing Myra!! We are so excited for this event

08:55:06 From Walls Project to Everyone:

08:55:29 From Christian Engle-YMCA of the Capital Area to Everyone:

08:56:08 From Andrea Roberts to Everyone:

Thanks for sharing, Christian.

08:56:12 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone:

Scotlandville on the rise

Uptown USA!

08:56:52 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Don't forget the amazing opportunities of our fabulous Library System.

08:57:09 From Edy Addison to Everyone:

If you’d like to join the Baton Rouge Out of School Program Convening please email me at Next meeting is May 14th at 10am.

08:58:33 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone:

Good morning and thanks to each of you for all that you do! I’d be happy to share any information that you’d like to get out to the charter school community. Simply email it to me at

08:59:03 From Patrick Tuck 4-H (he/him) to Everyone:

Clearing house website for all youth opportunities progress? @edy I do have an update from yesterday's working group meeting.

08:59:32 From Rinaldi Jacobs Sr to Everyone:

All CPEX,Southern University and Scotlandville CDC are conducting a survey of residents and businesses. We are back on track for the Southern University/Scotlandville plan.

09:00:40 From WELCH, KELLY S to Everyone:

ExxonMobil is piloting a 6-8 week Summer Internship for NBR Highschool Graduating and Incoming Seniors! Application info. is going to NBR high schools today.

09:02:41 From Katherina McGraw- Empower225 to Everyone:

Empower 225 will have transportation as a case by case needed. It’s part of our application.

09:04:25 From Jen Tewell (she/her) to Everyone:

Headed to the next meeting, thanks y'all!

09:05:00 From Katherina McGraw- Empower225 to Everyone:

I have to step out to another meeting! Thank you for everything!

09:05:23 From Emanuel Boo Milton to Everyone:

Gotcha !

09:06:08 From Liz Smith to Everyone:

CHANGEMAKERS application open now:

09:08:16 From Edy Addison to Everyone:

If you’d like your summer program listed in 211, please email or fill out the form on

09:09:13 From Shanice Robinson to Everyone:

IG BridgeAgencyINC

Facebook The Bridge Agency

Twitter BridgeAINC

Call us at (225)238-7248

Questions or to volunteer:

09:09:28 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

I wanted to know if the youth employment programs are going to pay living wage?

09:10:15 From WELCH, KELLY S to Everyone:

Hi Rev. Anderson our ExxonMobil Summer Intern Program will pay $18.75/hr

09:10:30 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Super awesome!

09:10:40 From WELCH, KELLY S to Everyone:

We are VERY excited! :)

09:10:56 From Futures Fund to Everyone:

If you all know anyone interested in learning more or participating in either of the Futures Fund programming opportunities for the youth, or adults, please follow the links from above. Also feel free to reach out to me at 225-434-0515 ext, 2 or

09:11:16 From Helen Frink - Mayor's Office to Everyone:

Kelly, can you email me that program information? I would like to elevate to our youth at those schools

09:11:44 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Does anyone know if there is anyone planning to offer a driver education summer camp for young people?

09:11:51 From Kim Mosby (IWES) to Everyone:

The Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies works with schools, youth providers, and community-based organizations to facilitate a trauma-informed adolescent reproductive health education initiative that addresses reproductive health, mental health, & emotional wellness. The program is geared towards 11-15 yr olds. If you'd like more information, please reach out to me ( or Kala Rachal ( The mental health modules can be offered separately from the rest of the reproductive health modules. - I have to run to my next meeting, but please reach out if you have questions.

09:12:18 From WELCH, KELLY S to Everyone:

Sure thing! The program and application info. is going to Scotlandville High, Istrouma High, Glen Oaks High, Cristo Rey and Southern Lab today!

09:13:16 From Patrick Tuck 4-H (he/him) to Everyone:

09:13:29 From Rinaldi Jacobs Sr to Everyone:

Senate Bill 227 creates a Plank Rd Economic Development District passed out of the Committee to full Senate

09:15:15 From Helen Frink - Mayor's Office to Everyone:

Our payment is stipend based, up to $1,200 based on grade level and participation, for 8 weeks.

09:15:29 From Patrick Tuck 4-H (he/him) to Everyone:

4-H Camp Grant Walker Bill HB362_Orgeron

09:15:45 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Wanted remind everyone we have lots of animal rescues that always need volunteers.

09:15:50 From Manny Patole (he/him | CCBR) to Everyone:

I agree, there are other options. 4-year degrees are not for everyone. But skills training is a need for any one to move up the career ladders of many sectors.

09:17:14 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Can everyone with volunteer and paying opportunities for youth please forward them to the Library Career Center.

09:17:25 From Shanice Robinson to Everyone:

Thank you

09:17:44 From Rinaldi Jacobs Sr to Everyone:

09:18:41 From Rinaldi Jacobs Sr to Everyone:

This is the much needed survey for the Scotlandville SU

09:18:55 From Rinaldi Jacobs Sr to Everyone:

09:19:19 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

I saw a grief camp but I wondered with so many children having been impacted by COVID losses are any of the programming going to incorporate trauma processing?

09:19:31 From Helen Frink - Mayor's Office to Everyone:

I have a running list of about 4,000 youth and their parents, we are always pushing out information, so please send me any information you would like us to elevate on your behalf, year round!

09:20:19 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

The Bail Project Baton Rouge will be hosting a Mother's Day Bail Out Event on Saturday at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

09:20:20 From HAWF Team to Everyone:

If you haven't yet completed CAUW's Community Conversations survey, please take a few minutes of your day!

09:20:21 From Christian Engle-YMCA of the Capital Area to Everyone:

We are partnering with several charter schools and the surrounding school districts on an "at no cost" tutoring program to help address "summer learning loss"...This is outside of our normal summer camp programs...

09:20:31 From Helen Frink - Mayor's Office to Everyone:

Yes Rev Anderson! A big part of our programming last summer and this summer is "Youth Voice" that is bringing in experts to talk about processing and also giving young people the chance to discuss their experiences and empower them to make a change in their lives and others

09:21:32 From Luke St. John to Everyone:

09:21:48 From Christian Engle-YMCA of the Capital Area to Everyone:

09:21:58 From HAWF Team to Everyone:

On the comment about grief camps, Center For Mind Body Medicine will be launching a year long training program which would provide a tool in serving anyone suffering from trauma, grief, etc. If interested in additional information contact me -

09:21:59 From Christian Engle-YMCA of the Capital Area to Everyone:

Looking forward to our meeting St. John

09:22:21 From Luke St. John to Everyone:

@Christian, same sir.

09:22:43 From Helen Frink - Mayor's Office to Everyone:

The ICARE program is AMAZING!!

09:23:48 From Karla King - concerned citizen to Everyone:

Humanities Amped is wonderful!

09:24:01 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Our Medicaid providers are good partners to bring health resources to summer programming.

09:24:15 From Emanuel Boo Milton to Everyone:

09:25:18 From Karla King - concerned citizen to Everyone:

Yes, thank you for speaking this Rev. Anderson.

09:25:59 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

It would be nice to get with LPB or one of the local television stations to host a special show showcasing all these opportunities.

09:29:10 From Perry Sholes to Everyone:

Happy Mother's Day everyone!!

09:29:35 From Katie Pritchett, United Way to Everyone:

Edy Addison:

09:29:44 From Christian Engle-YMCA of the Capital Area to Everyone:

Great Meeting and Love the shared information!

09:29:56 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Are any of the community garden programs having summer events or camps?

09:30:23 From Manny Patole (he/him | CCBR) to Everyone:


09:31:11 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Federal taxes are due May 17th

09:32:07 From Gwendolyn Hamilton to Everyone:

I think the date of Louisiana Residents was changed for federal taxes.

09:32:26 From Reginald Brown to Everyone:

Mental Health - Story telling as healing - Leslie Grover, , Assisi House,

09:33:16 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Great idea!

09:33:17 From Katie Pritchett, United Way to Everyone:

Yes, @Gwen. We actually have until June 15th for federal and state taxes and payments due to the freeze "disaster".

09:34:03 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Reminder to the coalition, please add organizations that work with youth to our OneRouge database:

09:34:05 From Gwendolyn Hamilton to Everyone:

whew, I was about to panic

09:34:39 From Judith Rhodes to Everyone: This is info about the USDA Summer Food Service Program - free meals. This is a great camp resource.

09:34:59 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Thank you for sharing Judith.

09:36:29 From Liz Smith to Everyone:

Gotta run folks! Happy mother's day to all the moms on the call. See ya next week!

09:36:31 From Alfredo Cruz to Everyone:

Housing 1st Alliance housing study needs your help! please complete this survey and share it broadly.

The survey can be accessed online at and takes about 15 minutes to complete.

09:38:50 From Helen Frink - Mayor's Office to Everyone:

Lindi include that info when you email me!

09:39:15 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition's General Meeting is 3rd Thursday of the month @ 6:00 p.m. our Facebook page: EBRPPRC

09:39:26 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone:

Will do. Thanks Helen.

09:39:27 From Helen Frink - Mayor's Office to Everyone:

Hola Alfredo!!!!!!!

09:39:34 From Futures Fund to Everyone:

Have a great weekend everyone!!

09:39:52 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Does anyone have summer programs for non-English speaking and special needs youth?

09:40:28 From Emily Chatelain to Everyone: for summer meal partnership

09:40:56 From Rinaldi Jacobs Sr to Everyone:

yes I put it in Pat

09:41:34 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:


09:41:40 From Emily Chatelain to Everyone:

Have a wonderful weekend all, Happy Mothers Day

09:43:06 From Helen Frink - Mayor's Office to Everyone:

Its not going to rain at all this weekend for the first time in over a month!!!

09:43:28 From Manny Patole (he/him | CCBR) to Everyone:

We do… it’s the situation in India.

09:43:32 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

LSU got a new president!

09:43:53 From Gwendolyn Hamilton to Everyone:

Now that's great news Helen!

09:44:08 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

This is graduation season!

09:44:15 From Patrick Tuck 4-H (he/him) to Everyone:

09:45:00 From Manny Patole (he/him | CCBR) to Everyone:

Casey: ASFS Conference and STIR Labs Summit

09:45:23 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Go for it Manny P

09:46:08 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone:

Thank you all. I have to run to another meeting

09:46:31 From Patrick Tuck 4-H (he/him) to Everyone:

Thanks all -- headed to next meeting.


'Children Living in Poverty'

Meeting Notes Prepared by Zoë Haddad (Walls Project)

* Special Announcement *

  • BREC found out with no notice that Senate Bill 205 was filed, which seeks to take about 30% of BREC budget to create three additional park systems serving Central, Zachary and the proposed city of St. George

  • In front of Senate, Municipal and Mobile Affairs Committee Thursday (time tbd)

  • We are setting up a way for us to send out information about the bill through text that you can opt in to

  • If anybody can be at that committee, it would be great to let the senators know how the community feels especially since there was no community input

  • If you can’t be there you can write a letter to your senator or representative

  • The Senate committee may be very difficult to keep it from moving through

  • There will be a House of Representatives committee that will hear it before going to the full House and then the Governor

Gwen Hamilton (NSBR)

  • Is there a fact sheet that we could pull down so we can be informed as we address the subject? I’m particularly interested in whether or not the sheet includes the BREC parks that currently reside in the proposed districts

  • Yes fact sheet is here: You can also text SB205 to 844-990-4114 for more information about letting your representatives know what you think about the bill and when the committee is meeting

Casey Phillips (The Walls Project)

  • As we transition to our conversation around affordable housing, access to green space, access to a healthy life should be available to ALL citizens. The BREC park system is actually part of the housing conversion and I appreciate you all being with us today.

J. Daniels (Partners Southeast + EBRPHA)

  • Redefine how we view and capture “public housing”

  • Public housing has a stigma - we want to change the vernacular

  • We are redefining it, talking about affordable housing

  • When I talk to our partners they say, “What do you do about your tenants?” I say, we don’t have tenants, we have families

  • They ask “Are you building new projects or facilities?” No, we’re building new communities

  • As we talk about the path to homeownership, rebuilding communities, we have to rethink affordable housing

  • David Summers is really helping us execute our existing portfolio as well as the affordable communities

  • We promote the Housing Choice Voucher Program for home ownership - EBRPHA invests $30 million per year in the Baton Rouge region through this program. You may know it as Section VIII, but at the end of the day it’s a housing choice. We work with different partners to help in city redevelopment

  • Subsidizing the mortgage, allowing them to secure the home

  • LHC launched a program that allows us to offer low interest and forgivable loans

  • Outside of that program, we have the Family Self Sufficiency Program

  • Target up to 25 families to position them to change the wealth factor in their lives (financial literacy, workforce development, job opportunities and training, etc.)

  • Approach it different ways

  • Everybody congratulate David, he just closed a $26 million deal, 99 units, senior development within Baton Rouge. Huge opportunity to reposition affordable housing inventory.

David Summers (Partners Southeast/EBRPHA)

  • Partners Southeast is the development arm of the EBRPHA

  • Works to ensure safe and affordable housing for all our families who need it

  • The development arm helps reposition those communities that have aged out or aren’t surrounded by support services and amenities they need to do better

  • Dual function of repositioning and repurposing

  • Direct correlation between families having to pay more than 30% of their income on rent every month, tremendous amount of renters in BR

  • Doesn’t allow them to be in a position to save money, set them up for home ownership

  • Really trying to take an aggressive stance to help out families transition from longterm generational renters into homeowners

  • To the community that J just mentioned, this is a 99 unit senior community

  • Specifically for seniors 65+ there’s a tremendous lack of affordable housing in Baton Rouge but we will still be capturing less than 2% of the market. The demand is tremendous. Huge supply gap that we will very intentionally be working on as part of our Choice Neighborhood Program

  • Other areas in the city that that are amenity rich, near health care facilities…we think will be great opportunities to provide affordable housing to our seniors.

  • One other thing…less about directly driving to home ownership and more the importance of being intentional about how we develop and what we communicate is the name change…The name of this project was originally Cypress at Gardere. As we got closer to closing we started being intentional about the history of Gardere. It was named for François Gardere, a Frenchman who came to Louisiana. One of the largest plantation owners in the state. Long and heavy history associated with François Gardere and the neighborhood. Rather than move forward with that name, we positioned ourselves to name it Cypress Pinchback. P.B.S. Pinchback was the first Black governor of Louisiana. We’re excited to be able to reposition this project in a way that honors his legacy and makes a statement about how we intend to move forward with our projects.

Courtney Scott (ACAO, City of Baton Rouge)

  • Representing City Parish today, we’re a conduit to many of the people speaking today

  • Housing First Alliance - many of the folks speaking today are the brain trust behind it - Sam Sanders, J. Daniels, Chris Tyson, Alfredo Cruz

  • These folks have ben doing work over the last few years to build a social contract with the EBR Parish community around a healthy housing network

  • On behalf of the Mayor’s office, we were excited to be able to join the conversation to navigate where we will allocate resources, how we build healthy housing, engage with stakeholders and prioritize affordable housing, nurturing those partnerships necessary to create these opportunities for all

  • We will be using two main strategies to inform the public about gaps in place

  • We know that stable housing, a roof over your head, a community, a family of people are necessary for us to thrive…it’s part of our fundamental foundation

  • The use of collective impact - everyone working together to leverage those local resources for healthy housing sustainability

  • A lot of that starts with our Office of Community Development which is administered and managed by Build Baton Rouge, we look at a lot of those pieces and parts to say how do we continue to rebuild/evolve to work well?

  • Two key things we’ve done over the last year - made a very conscious decision to rapidly evolve and start this work in a collective

  • Didn’t want to just be City Parish, wanted many minds there

  • Awarded a $3.4 million grant for lead hazard

  • Also had to respond rapidly to COVID-19 and the financial impact on our families with rental assistance and facing losing their homes

  • Responded by standing up our Rental Emergency Assistance program

  • Also made sure to put sustainable partners in place to sit at the table with us - Mid City Redevelopment, UREC, Habitat for Humanity, Project 70805 as case managers

  • Case-worthy system connected to our department for human services

  • Respond to the needs of our families right now and keep them connected to resources in the future

  • Case managers are set to respond to folks facing evictions or financial burdens due to COVID-19 at this time, but we can now look to the future to keep them connected to more resources

  • Also putting a legal support system in place offering immediate assistance to folks in danger of losing their housing

  • Want to champion Alfredo Cruz again…he always stands in as an advocate making sure we are not only solving a quick need but putting long term solutions in place

  • In the chat, Ms. Pat LeDuff said the case management model has been very successful, and we’re excited because we finally have a system in City Parish where pieces can speak together…it becomes our job to look at how we can build a system to get people from poverty to stability

  • We don’t need to do quick fixes anymore, we have to build systems

  • We’ll be sharing more information about our lead positive program , again groups like Mid City Redevelopment and Build Baton Rouge will be at the table putting infrastructure together and working with the National League of Cities to make sure we’re looking at best practices across the country

  • See questions about data and homelessness in Scotlandville...I will continue to answer questions in the chat.

Sam Sanders (Executive Director, Mid City Redevelopment Alliance)

  • For those of you interested in housing, reach out to Casey and he can connect you to me and Alfredo and plug you in

  • As to my topic, barriers to home ownership, I’m going to start with controversy…homeownership is not for everyone.

  • When I first started this work I believed in was. I now realize it’s not necessarily for everyone. Key things to remember are it costs to get a house, maintain one, protect the investment in its lifetime, and you really have to be able to navigate these expectations.

  • First barrier is about the prospective buyer and their understanding and ability to manage the long term commitment of home ownership

  • Other barriers are affordability, credit, and closing the gap

  • Affordability has definitely been misused over the years - we are talking about it being affordable to specific someones. Those having a harder time reaching that achievement. 80% and AMI. If you make $62,800 as a family of four or less, that’s who we’re talking about. We are not talking about mini mansions. Developers will build those and call it affordable housing.

  • We want to normalize what we’re talking about. Typically when people hear public hosing they go with the worst of images, calling people leeches and lazy. That’s not what we’re doing. We’re talking about those who need and deserve an opportunity to thrive. What can we do to help get them there?

  • We have to remind people there are qualifications.

  • Credit is one of the most important things we have to talk about.

  • Lenders want a 620 credit score. They want perfect clients, easy loans to process that are comfortable and consistent. Not who we’re talking about. Credit can be a huge barrier because time is the only thing that can really fix that. Life challenges produce credit issues. The series of issues people come up with over time can be a huge driver to poverty. One mistake can cause a seven year impact that gives them a long, long road getting back.

  • Buyers need forgiveness and fairness - we need the credit scoring model to be revised. It forces people to become traditional credit users instead of taking into account where people are.

  • They need lenders to embrace the tenants of CRA - we have legislation on the books that banks and credit unions have to do things to help even though they don’t necessarily want to help.

  • Lenders need to embrace the concept of community lending. Community lenders must have a special skill set, understanding that people have lives and may have been through a whole lot before walking into the bank. The right person on the other side of that table can make a huge difference. We don’t always see that.

  • Baton Rouge struggles today with lenders. We need to hire caring people who really care about the opportunities they’re providing. We need lenders who don’t mind doing a little extra - what’s the definition of equity? Just giving someone a little extra if that’s what’s required.

  • Buyers need assistance: Gap assistance. Down payment assistance. Closing cost assistance. A fair shot is equity. All of those are needed to help someone get to the finish line.

  • We are creating home ownership opportunities but it’s equity work.

  • There’s a lot of work to be done, there’s a lot of angles we can go about this. The administration today is focused on equity and housing is at the top…we’re excited about the promise and will do the best we can with what comes.

  • The most important thing I think deserves repeating is, as Sam said, home ownership is not for everybody. What’s really important is having safe, habitable, humane housing in our community.

  • We’ve fetishized home ownerships at the detriment of having a robust system that includes tenants rights, protections, and enforcement; holistic community planning beyond units; and understanding the interdisciplinary work required to sustainably and equitably turn around communities that have been systematically distressed over decades

  • How do we create whole communities? We need to increase production of affordable housing units, make sure affordability addresses people at risk of homelessness, people that are on the bottom of the economic ladder. We have an economy that provides very few protections for people who do low work

  • Stitching together a thicker safety net

  • Housing First Alliance is vitally important work - unearthing data that Baton Rouge has never captured, that we don’t even know about ourselves. We’re late to the game.

  • Can’t have a meaningful conversation about moving housing forward in this community without the level of rigor and analysis that’s happening right now

  • Recap of the work of Build Baton Rouge - we’ve been around for over a decade and always try to tie all of our work together because it is long cycle collaborative work

  • As you know our legacy project has been the Ardendale Master Plan, the Choice Neighborhoods Project, which we are working on alongside J. Daniels and the City that is an outgrowth of a decade of planning we were able to use to compel HUD to make a $30 million award to this community

  • Also focused in the Mid City area - in 2018 we completed the Rail Station Master Plan tied to the Electric Depot development, which revolves around housing development and transit oriented development

  • We have to think holistically about creating neighborhoods...that’s what makes a city vibrant, healthy, durable, and attractive

  • We can’t just drop a few units. All of our city deserves high quality planning

  • Another thing about equitable housing, is that it doesn’t just occur in North Baton Rouge. Particularly if we’re interested in desegregating our community, we have to look at the entire region as an opportunity and ensure that when also thinking about transit, affordable commercial development, other supports that families need to live all over the city

  • Lastly, the Plank Road Master Plan continues to advance across a number of projects including affordable housing, urban infill development, mixed use development, a grocery anchored mixed use development with housing on the same site as grocery connected to transit and the BRT project

  • Number of partners including CATS, EBRPHA, Mid City Redevelopment Alliance and City Parish

  • At the end of this year the Capital Area Transit System will have a vote to renew their tax. Lets’ be clear - as a community if we want to advance housing and we aren’t talking about transit-oriented development, we kneecapped our competitiveness for national grants to do the kind of work we want to do here. When we received the Advancing Cities Grant $5 million award from JP Morgan Chase, one of their final questions was what’s up with the BRT plan? That most caught their attention. We don’t get BRT without a dedicated funding source for transit. There are other housing related developments we can do with a robust, well funded transit system. If you care about this work, you need to care about transit.

Coalition Questions

Casey Phillips: Gwen had multiple questions in the chat so I’m going to cherry pick a couple of these…the first is for affordable housing built by EBRPHA, how are you measuring success J. and David?

J. Daniels: There are a couple of deliverables. I always start with access. Access is our transformation plan which leverages our housing opportunities to create greater access and outcomes to education, economic opportunities, health and wellness. As we grade ourselves as a metric, we ensure that we are developing properties that have access to transportation, recreation, other housing opportunities, schools, all those things that create a great community. That meshed with the actual delivery of units…In the past we have not delivered the number of units that we should have. We are unearthing this data that says we are woefully behind. That’s going to be a key metric of our success as a community.

David Summers: The main focus for us is to produce as many affordable housing units where we can that are mixed use, mixed income, that allow families to have success. One thing I think worth discussing it the bell at the housing authority…it’s a tremendous way we measure our success.

J. Daniels: One of our last metrics of success is how our housing choice families graduate to homeownership. We had a tremendous amount of people independently without resources deciding to build wealth and buy a home. We wanted to celebrate that fact so we installed a bell in our lobby. It (our service) is a temporary assistance - ultimately we want to celebrate that family. They come out and ring a bell and everybody in the office comes out and we celebrate, we cry...the family says thank you. Ringing the bell is a very symbolic ceremony. It allows us to move that family to home ownership but it also creates another housing opportunity for the next family up. We have thousands of people on our wait list. It’s a great aspect of what we do.

Casey Phillips: You can’t have a conversation about housing without talking about schools and transportation. Sam, is there a collective actionable strategic plan to address the gaps and challenges that all these agencies are working on together?

Sam Sanders: That’s really the point of the alliance. Stay tuned, it is coming soon. Three action steps would be:

  1. Plug into Housing First website (coming soon) so you know the data and can participate in strategy development.

  2. Help us label housing as a matter of equity...tell everyone.

  3. Ask our City Leaders how they are supporting transformation (not status quo) in the housing and don’t stop asking

There’s a lot of work that needs to be done and more collaborative ways so we can leverage as much as we have available. The Alliance was born out of frustration. After the flood, it frustrated me to no end that I couldn’t figure out where to plug in to help those in need. I didn’t know what to do and had to figure it out myself. Thankfully I had the resources but it didn’t make sense. From that, I felt like I could see clearly that the recovery was not equitable. Those in the north/more challenging neighborhoods had a hard go at getting back. We have not really galvanized the support. This whole planning effort has been an attempt to slap Baton Rouge in its face, to find out the number of affordable housing units that are needed in our city so that no one can get away from that. It’s supposed to burden us that this exists. We’ve got to do something about it, develop strategies and get into the uncomfortable space of challenging our leaders.

Alfredo Cruz: I’m so happy to hear these partners lift up these issues we’ve been talking about this last year. Let me just emphasize something that Courtney said - this is about creating a social contract with our community. We’re co-designing solutions with new partners and a broad array of folks who understand what it’s like to not have a home. It’s going to take some time to get there but we’re on the right track. I’m so glad the Housing First Alliance website is almost done - likely going up next week. It’s timely because last week we heard we’re going to be coordinating in a different way with these coalitions. This will be the right way to plug into coalition that’s already underway. I wanted to add that we are part of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The latest gap report shows the gap we have in Louisiana of affordable housing units for extremely low income renters, that is, folks paying more than half their income for housing costs and make less than 30% of the area median income per year. For those folks, they are facing the most extreme shortage of affordable housing. For every 100 people in Louisiana that are considered extremely low income there are only 49 units. That means 51 extremely low income persons don’t have access to affordable housing. Home ownership is not for everybody but if that’s the case and we want to build more affordable rental housing we have to make sure we have the proper protections in place for renters.

Pam Wall: I’ve been affiliated with the Housing Authority for nearly twenty years. What’s happened in the last few years has been transformational. J. has bigger dreams than most people can really understand. Folks don’t understand how restrictive HUD funding really is.I tried to advocate for building that implement childcare - they have it in New Orleans - the former CEO said HUD would not stand for that. It had to be an outside thing. Now we’re working with the YWCA to make sure we have childcare in the new CNI. Now we have this opportunity - and I miss Sam so much on the board of partners because he always had a great grounding statement for me. I feel like a lot of people don’t understand that there’s these mobility studies that show when you take folks who have lived in subsidized housing and give them the opportunity to move to neighborhoods with more wealth and opportunities, many of them come right back within five years. We can’t just create housing and move folks from subsided housing to different neighborhoods without a lot of wraparound services. I really think this group needs to understand that in spite of what people say in the legislature, it’s not only teenagers working minimum wage jobs. We have a lot of moms in housing and their two biggest challenges that would move them out of housing authority properties are childcare and transportation. We all need to be advocating for a decent minimum wage. I heard the new secretary of HUD speak two days ago and she talked about all the money that’s going to be available to expand affordable housing. I think it’s really, really important that we don’t waste those dollars. I’m really glad to see everyone working together. I’m hoping there will be more money available for helping folks who live in Section VIII and housing authority properties to get job training and jobs. We recently worked on a grant in which HUD would give us money to hire one social worker but that social worker can’t work with over 50 families. We have nearly 900 families…with two social workers. Because HUD wants us to use them to refer. It’s not the kind of case management we need. There’s policies even at the federal level we can change if we all work together.

Courtney Scott: Taking in all the comments, I wanted to address that City Parish is looking to go towards more person-centered, holistic case management. That’s what we’re hoping the Housing First Alliance will do. Conversations like this turning into tangible frameworks backed by evidence-based data will allow us to build the systems to put in place. Case-worthy for us is one of those first steps to make sure our families receive housing support but that everyone in the system, say rental assistance, will then be connected to EmployBR and DHDS to figure out how we can train them, what food stability do they need, are there children there who can join the Mayor’s Youth Workforce Experience? We want to start building a whole person-centered approach to all of this work. It will take time but conversations like this and accountability to our administration…Sam said it best, while we work together, Sam holds us accountable to what we say and what we need to do. This is just the start. We’re also looking at how do we train our organizations to work more collaboratively and not in silos. These conversations let me know that Baton Rouge has the resources, we just need to realign and engage.

Reginald Brown (Gardere Initiative): What’s the measurement for segregation? I’m looking at the 2020 EBR Assessment of Fair Housing. It shows the number of people who would have to move from one place to another in the city to evenly distribute. High trends of segregation in most of our area.

Christopher Tyson: That assessment is a great start. We know experientially in this city that we’re a very divided city spatially, not only where people live but the quality of development and extent of development in different parts of the city. I would count that as contributing to the racial and spatial stratification that defines life in Baton Rouge. We wake up everyday with addressing that stratification as our target.

Sam Sanders: We know how significant it will be to really bust segregation. There’s so many different angles.There’s some folks who want to be segregated, who thrive in an environment that looks like them. We need to be looking more towards measuring quality of life. If it’s not apparent that the others exist, there’s something wrong. I’ve heard many people say that Florida serves as the Mason Dixon line…many people go to North Baton Rouge just for the airport. People need to understand there’s a reason to go north of Florida and they don’t need to be terrified there and back.

J. Daniels: I just want to encourage our partners to continue using the housing authority as a resource. As we move to push the needle to grow wealth within our families we truly encourage all of our partners to consider us with future and ongoing partnerships.

Marlee Pittman (Mid City Redevelopment): We’re starting a really interesting collaborative around community development with the Safe Hopeful Neighborhood Initiative. We’re launching a slew of resources for residents who want to do work in the community with the belief that resident-led approaches are the best. People who live in a neighborhood understand what they need. They just need to be empowered to make that change. We’ll be talking about some of the strategies we’ve seen other communities use and the resources you can plug in to do some of these projects. You’ll probably see a press release later today opening up applications for our summer Community Change Academy - every Saturday in June/July. We’ll be using NeighborWorks America’s nationally recognized curriculum. Graduates will receive $2500 for projects in their area that they design and carry out. If you want to learn more, reach out to me.

Manny Patole (Co-City Baton Rouge): Brought in as a collaborative effort with Build Baton Rouge and some folks up here in New York and DC. We are working on the idea of intergenerational wealth community land bank. We’ll talk more about it in that June call, specifically how we’re working with Marlee and the resident leader program…when you’re developing these leaders and they graduate, it’s to do what? Those folks will be able to graduate into being part of the board for this community land bank. In the interim we’ll start recruiting for people on the call to be part of the advisory board. Two of our legal scholars afforded to us through the JP Morgan/Chase have been drafting governance and by-laws for this new institution to ensure this idea of affordable housing and building community wealth for years to come, hopefully setting the example for other cities throughout the country.

Christopher Tyson: This is very important work. We are patterning land trusts established as close as Houston, New Orleans, and all around the country as a way of bringing more cooperative forms of ownership and stewardship of community we think about housing holistically, there are many ways communities can build equity and ownership and autonomy. This is a platform for doing that. We do this work through the generous support of the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation and JP Morgan Chase.

Manny Patole: What’s innovative about what we’re doing is not just about housing but placemaking…some of these properties could be used for commercial or recreational uses, and that’s another component of the work with JP Morgan Chase is the eco part.

D’Adario Conway (The Ascent Project): I lead the People Strategy of the Choice Neighborhood Initiative Grant. There’s Housing, Neighborhood and People Strategy and that’s where me and my team come in. We provide an intensive case management model synonymous to a total wellness plan, looking at economic stability, emotional stability, mental health, physical wealth, education, and so forth. Our outcomes and metrics are health, education, and economic self sufficiency. My team makes often contact with family members. Some of the barriers are transportation, childcare, lack of motivation to work right now due to low average annual income with minimum wage ($10-12k). With unemployment benefits, they’re able to take in more than when they were working. We’re working on education, motivation, and job training opportunities so that when this insurance benefit runs out they have a cognitive restructuring of maintaining a livable wage. We’re really consistent with our message, contact, and education. This is year two of the grant with us, so we’re still establishing trust. My role is to connect with community partners who submitted commitment letters. Once I can fully connect with everyone I’ll be able to better position our families.

Reginald Brown: It looks like we’ve done a lot of good work. My first question, is there a program where we can talk about ownership of multi-family apartments for apartment buildings as a form of wealth creation? Most of the families in Gardere live in apartment buildings. I would love for them to be able to own apartment buildings, to create that pride of ownership and thereby reducing litter and trash. The second issue is that the programs y’all are talking about are, I think, only for your community. Can we model and outreach to those non-EBRPHA communities?

J. Daniels: To your first point, automatically families think about single family residences or a town house. But doing doubles or triplexes we can present opportunities to create true wealth. That’s something we could all work on. Secondly, you’ll be surprised that even though we have a pretty broad swath, we don’t own every apartment community. Many are owned privately and less willing and accepting to have conversations like this. Families are treated like a commodity. I think we have to encourage conversation with the private sector.

Reginald Brown: And we have done that and they’re on board. But on the other side of that, the good property owners and landlords are at our meetings and are part of our group. I don’t know how to reach the ones who want their money and don’t want to do anything else. There’s about 10-12 owners in the Gardere area very willing to make sure the quality of life for residents is great.

Sam Sanders: Bold ideas for transformative housing. There’s many different ways you can go and it’s something Baton Rouge does not talk about. There’s room and a need for more discussion. Collaboration is what matters. You make a pearl by starting with irritation.

Zoom Chat

08:33:17 From Andrea Roberts to Everyone: Text "SB205" to 844-990-4114 to receive real time information

08:34:53 From Andrea Roberts to Everyone:

08:36:26 From Manny Patole to Everyone: All about great Placemaking and creating Belonging :-) Love BREC

08:37:03 From Andrea Roberts to Everyone: Thanks, Manny

08:39:05 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: I much prefer affordable housing and revision of affordable and inclusive housing.

08:40:06 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: I'm a huge fan of FSS!

08:45:32 From Sherreta Harrison to Everyone: History matters!

08:45:35 From Reginald Brown to Everyone: Is that the vacant lot next to 475 Gardere Lane, next to Soccer Office?

08:45:35 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone: Understanding the history directily impacts the future! YES!

08:45:51 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: How were the 25 families selected and how effective has the program been in terms of homeownership

08:46:02 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Awesome on the new name

08:46:43 From Kim Mosby to Everyone: Thinking thru senior housing, are there rules that exclude those with children or are seniors who raise their grandchildren and great grandchildren eligible to live in senior housing?

08:49:28 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Please address the plan for closing the housing gap for the homeless in Scotlandville

08:50:49 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: This case management model has been very, very successful

08:51:26 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Thank you and thank you to our Mayor!

08:51:32 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Amen!!!

08:51:39 From Gwendolyn Hamilton to Everyone: To Housing Authority, how do you measure the success of your efforts, what does the data show?

08:52:59 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: This is a brave & safe space Sam, bring your full self sir

08:53:46 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone: WORD, Sam!!!

08:54:06 From Aimee Moles to Everyone: kudos to that !

08:54:07 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Agreed!

08:54:07 From J. Daniels to Everyone: Kim, you make a very good point on "intergenerational housing". This senior community only serves seniors 62+. In the future, we will be piloting new "intergenerational housing" models. The current housing tax credit rules prevent us from implementing utilizing its resources; however, alternative financial sources will facilitate "intergenerational housing".

08:54:23 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone: It is about individual specific housing security!!!

08:54:39 From Courtney M. Scott to Everyone:


Drive policy

Engage the stakeholders (funders, community, political leaders, and community


Outreach & Advocacy



The membership of the Alliance is made up of organizations and individuals committed to advocating for the prioritization of housing issues on a local, regional, state, and federal level.

08:55:29 From Courtney M. Scott to Everyone: @Pat LeDuff Our office is building a homeless outreach team to support gaps that exist around case management and sustainable solutions in homelessness.

08:55:54 From Courtney M. Scott to Everyone: Scotlandville is a key area that needs more outreach and we hope to respond to that in the coming months.

08:55:59 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: You are so right! ...and some folk don’t want to own a home because they are not interested in signing up for what comes with it.

08:56:10 From Courtney M. Scott to Everyone: Additionally, we are looking at more housing solutions that will have wrap around services.

08:57:15 From Jennifer Carwile to Everyone: When I was a public school teacher in the 1990s, I made $30,000 a year, and I paid rent of $325/month. My Little Buddy's mom makes $30,000 a year and her rent is $850 a month, for a much less well-cared for property. This is not affordable, and we need to get back to having safe properties that rent for the $300-400/month range.

08:58:31 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Geaux Sam... you are on it! Speak the TRUTH!

08:58:54 From Kim Mosby to Everyone: or if rents have double or tripled then incomes should also double or triple & NOT because people have 3-4 jobs

08:59:58 From Sherreta Harrison to Everyone: At a conference I attended, someone suggested that when we reframe the conversation from "certain people don't qualify for lending" to "banks don't lend to certain people" we can begin to address the challenges that you are discussing.

09:01:21 From Karla King - concerned citizen to Everyone: Thank you Sam Sanders for this on point information.

09:01:43 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone: EXCELLENT, Sam. You are talking my language.

09:02:07 From Aimee Moles to Everyone: so glad you are out there Sam!!

09:02:33 From Gwendolyn Hamilton to Everyone: Is there a collective actionable strategic plan to address the gaps and challenges mentioned here So happy to see the coordination finally.

09:02:50 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: We need rent to support the current hourly wage. We allowed the housing authority to set the rental rate by what they thought was fair pay but it did not help people who did not qualify for assistance. Therefore, the rental rates became up to three times more than what was received monthly

09:03:20 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Thank you for the question Gwen, will lift this up after our speakers.

09:03:49 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Please put more questions in the chat folks. Will get to them all and this convo will go all the way to 10am.

09:05:18 From Marlee, Mid City Redevelopment to Everyone: Preoccupation with homeownership led to a proliferation of zoning for single family housing with huge setbacks.

09:05:33 From Courtney Scott to Everyone: @gwen As Chris just spoke on, we are gathering data

09:05:37 From Marlee, Mid City Redevelopment to Everyone: We know now this is not smart development and reduces affordability in the long run!

09:07:23 From Manny Patole to Everyone: Zoning as well is exclusionary. Between what @Marlee said RE:single family homes and parking requirements (and car-first culture), many post WWII cities have developed along a very linear path that is hard to adapt to change.

09:07:52 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: To all our speakers, please put 3 actions the coalition members can do to support the work you do in the chat.

09:08:14 From Manny Patole to Everyone: "First life, then spaces, then buildings – the other way around never works…In a Society becoming steadily more privatized with private homes, cars, computers, offices and shopping centers, the public component of our lives is disappearing. It is more and more important to make the cities inviting, so we can meet our fellow citizens face to face and experience directly through our senses. Public life in good quality public spaces is an important part of a democratic life and a full life."

- Jan Gehl

09:08:50 From Jennifer Carwile to Everyone: does the Housing FIrst Alliance have a website? I can't find it

09:09:12 From Courtney Scott to Everyone: I encourage everyone to connect to Housing 1st Alliance. Please email Sam and he can keep you connected to our 1st stakeholder meeting.

09:09:46 From Marlee, Mid City Redevelopment to Everyone: A Housing 1st website is coming soon!

09:10:08 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Any work being done to bring a balance between the good landlords

09:10:21 From Courtney Scott to Everyone: We have been doing the data gathering and foundational work to be informed to the realities we faces

09:10:23 From Jennifer Carwile to Everyone: what is Sam's email?

09:10:42 From Courtney Scott to Everyone:

09:11:05 From Gwendolyn Hamilton to Everyone: Planning is extremely important, necessary and required...other than Money, what are the barriers to action we see happening in urban areas around the country.

09:12:20 From Sam Sanders to Everyone: 1. Plug into Housing 1st so you know the data and can participate in strategy development. 2. Help us label housing as a matter of equity...tell everyone. 3. Ask our City Leaders how they are supporting transformation (not status quo) in the housing and don’t stop asking.

09:12:25 From Manny Patole to Everyone: Transit and Mobility, not just transportation.

09:12:46 From Aimee Moles to Everyone: I think political will and fund management are big barriers

09:12:53 From Flitcher R. Bell to Everyone: What is Chris Tyson contact information?

09:13:05 From Zoe Haddad (she/her) to Everyone: Reminder of our OneRouge Forum for continued conversation:

09:13:09 From Christopher Spalatin to Everyone: I agree Aimee

09:13:10 From Manny Patole to Everyone:

09:13:23 From Sam Sanders to Everyone:

09:13:54 From J. Daniels to Everyone: @Pat LeDuff This is not accurate. EBRPHA does not establish the rents for EBR. Rents are established by HUD based upon MSA statistical data. Based upon this data, HUD sets Fair Market Rents (FMR) to which EBRPHA is compelled to comply. EBRPHA advocates for higher rents by implementing policy to pay 100-110% of FMR. Let's work cooperatively to ensure that we are communicating accurate information to our partners and stakeholders. Thanks.

09:14:03 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone: Thanks, Chris. Very good information.

09:14:11 From Aimee Moles to Everyone: will have to leave in a bit for another meeting :-(

09:14:22 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Decent paying jobs is the key. Are we working with Amazon

09:16:20 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: How many families have we moved into homeownership with the voucher

09:18:23 From Sherreta Harrison to Everyone: <3

09:18:45 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: The collaboration is the key. How are you working with the CDCs

09:19:26 From Reginald Brown to Everyone: What are the measurements of segregation, number of residents or something else?

09:20:03 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone: Such opportunity when approaching housing and schooling together

09:21:04 From Renee Craft to Everyone: Amen - and this applies to so many different community issues!

09:21:54 From Christopher Spalatin to Everyone: I’m curious about that too Reginald. I grew up in DC, and to some extent BR reminds me of that. After living in Hawaii and California for over a decade, it’s been shocking to see how EBR is so segregated - not just geographically, but culturally and politically

09:22:57 From Renee Craft to Everyone: The need for true collaboration and planning and having uncomfortable conversations is real.

09:23:07 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Amen!!

09:23:25 From Flitcher R. Bell to Everyone: I agree 100% Renee!

09:26:21 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Thank you Alfredo!

09:26:31 From Manny Patole to Everyone: Exactly, Renee and Pat.

09:28:35 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone: Truly appreciate the knowledge and passion here

09:30:35 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Because their income is still the same, moving to another neighborhood is not the solution

09:30:56 From Gwendolyn Hamilton to Everyone: HUD regulations can be waived to meet compelling needs. Government Dollars are necessary, but have impact when they are appropriately leveraged to meet the needs of communities.

09:32:08 From Jennifer Carwile to Everyone: I saw an interesting exhibit about the failure of mixed income developments in Chicago - from this study

09:32:36 From Jennifer Carwile to Everyone: fitting into the community is very importnat

09:33:01 From Alfredo Cruz to Everyone: Report from National Low Income Housing Coalition about the shortage of affordable housing around the country.

09:34:13 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: The Scotlandville CDC can assist more in this collaboration, 28 years; just let us know how

09:34:57 From Manny Patole to Everyone: The collaboration is also fostering good governance of these public resources

09:35:21 From Zoe Haddad (she/her) to Everyone: Here’s the link again -

09:37:27 From Manny Patole to Everyone: Beyond Segregation, Social Vulnerability Index also helps understand where our vulnerable populations are as well

09:37:28 From Manny Patole to Everyone:

09:39:57 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Amen San!!

09:40:07 From Manny Patole to Everyone:

09:43:15 From Helen Frink to Everyone:

09:45:00 From J. Daniels to Everyone: J. Wesley Daniels j

09:45:14 From J. Daniels to Everyone:

09:45:25 From Marlee, Mid City Redevelopment to Everyone: My email is - let me know if you’re interested in the Mayor’s, Build BR’s, and Mid City Redevelopment’s CCA Academy !

09:45:35 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Thank you future Secretary Daniels

09:46:05 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Appreciate you Chris Tyson, David Summers, Courtney Scott and Sam Sanders. Great conversation today

09:46:11 From Christopher Tyson to Everyone: Our Community Land Trust work is one of the projects funded by the generous support of the Huey & Angelina Wilson Foundation as well as the JP Morgan Chase Foundation's AdvancingCities initiative. Thanks to the Wilson Foundation and JPMC!

09:49:02 From Pam Wall to Everyone: Vision shift: not just housing but place-making...thank you, Manny.

09:49:17 From Manny Patole to Everyone: 1-page, 8pt font?

09:49:28 From Walls Project to Everyone: back and front

09:49:38 From Manny Patole to Everyone: Gotcha :-)

09:49:41 From Christopher Tyson to Everyone: 6pt Manny. single spaced. :-)

09:50:30 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Chris, that’s a great t-shirt slogan

09:50:52 From Manny Patole to Everyone: HAHA!

09:51:10 From Christopher Tyson to Everyone: lol

09:51:50 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone: lack of motiviation to work jobs that don't pay well.

09:52:00 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Amen Rodneyna

09:52:43 From Manny Patole to Everyone: Also how to be motivated to work a job that doesn’t always invest in you or where you have the agency to be part of that workforce community.

09:52:45 From Pam Wall to Everyone: A lot of single moms in housing are so overwhelmed with debt (I blame the credit card companies) that they see NO LIGHT at the end of the tunnel...and they have a hard time even thinking about working.

09:53:17 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone: Childcare prices many people out of the working market

09:54:44 From Manny Patole to Everyone: How do we align the school day and work day to mitigate the costs of child care, increase services for children, and reduce burden on educators/social services is the billion dollar question.

09:56:46 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: We have a hard cut at 10am for staff and board cultural competency training session from our friends at HealthyBlue. Please continue this conversation online here :

09:57:07 From Pam Wall to Everyone: invest in high quality afterschool programs (the America Rescue plans allows schools to fund these with the new money) but that is temporary.....and afterschool cannot just be more school--the arts, recreation, informal science, social emotional learning....that's the content.

09:57:49 From Kelli Rogers to Everyone: Have to sign off. Thanks, everyone!

09:59:34 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Yes, bold ideas

09:59:39 From David Beach l Wilson Foundation to Everyone: I heard a socially minded landlord say they won't rent an apartment they wouldn't be willing to live in themselves.

10:00:00 From Reginald Brown to Everyone: Buy Back Baton Rouge - Kimble and Julien Gordon 10:00:01 From Alfredo Cruz to Everyone: Bold ideas for affordable housing! Lets do this everyone. We can do this together.

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