United Way of Southeast Louisiana, the Downtown Development District, UNITY of Greater New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and Council Member-At-Large Stacy Head have launched an initiative called Make Change NOLA: A Better Way to Give. The program combines a public awareness campaign with mobile giving to harness the generosity of New Orleanians and tourists to support organizations working to combat homelessness and poverty.
“The DDD is proud to be part of this campaign. Throughout the years we have partnered with City agencies and organizations to address homelessness, and this is yet another valuable tool in that effort,” said Kurt Weigle, DDD President & CEO. “It is essential that in eradicating homelessness, we must begin by addressing underlying factors such as availability of housing, addiction and mental health. The four organizations who will be the beneficiaries of Make Change NOLA have proven to be some of the most effective agencies in our city at addressing these issues. We hope that this campaign will help them to serve even more people than they do today.”
Funds collected through this effort will go to social service providers that address homelessness, poverty, mental health and substance abuse. Those organizations include:
Bridge House / Grace House was founded on the principle that recovery from addiction could not be maintained without an individual’s basic needs being met. For 60 years, it has been Bridge House / Grace House’s mission to provide substance abuse treatment and services to those who have lost everything, are hopeless, helpless, and many wanting to die. Bridge House / Grace House is a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week, residential treatment facility that provides gender-specific treatment to men and women in three locations. They trey over 800 homeless, indigent, uninsured, and/or unemployed men and women each year. BHGH has been accredited by CARF since 2013 and is currently accredited in their residential treatment program.
Odyssey House Louisiana is a non-profit behavioral health care provider with an emphasis on addiction treatment. The mission of Odyssey House is to provide holistic and client-centered services in a safe environment that addresses the full continuum of special care needs for the state of Louisiana. OHL’s encompassing system of care includes detox, treatment, behavioral and medical healthcare, life-skills, counseling, and case management. It is OHL’s philosophy to treat the whole person, not just the addiction – meaning their approach addresses the physical, mental, emotional and social conditions of each client in treating the illness of addiction. Throughout its multiple programs, OHL provides services to over 900 people each month.
NAMI New Orleans offers hope, help, and healing to people with mental illness – and to those who share their lives – through family support, education and advocacy, and quality psychosocial services. Affiliated with the National Alliance on Mental Illness and NAMI Louisiana, NAMI New Orleans is our community’s leading organization helping people with mental illness and their families. NAMI New Orleans has raised over $125,000 in 2017 alone with their NAMIWalks program and provides several education and support programs to nearly 5,000 individuals and families each year.
The Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans is committed to preventing homelessness and to helping homeless or stranded families and individuals regain a self-sufficient lifestyle. They provide crisis-intervention counseling, support services, job search assistance and a day shelter for those who have found themselves down and out. In the past 4 years, Travelers Aid has provided 8,416 crisis-intervention counseling hours, 1,256 meals, 7,720 vouchers for emergency overnight shelters, and have helped over 4,400 people. They are a past winner of the Unity for the Homeless Program of the Year award and are a community partner of United Way.
To contribute to Make Change NOLA, text WAY to 20222. Each text donates $5, through the giver’s cell phone bill, to the initiative. Contributions can also be made online at MakeChangeNOLA.org.