Baton Rouge, La. – April 8, 2022 – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome declared April as Community Development Month in East Baton Rouge Parish. Throughout the month, City-Parish will be highlighting the work it does to revitalize neighborhoods and empower citizens.
In the past year, Mayor Broome relaunched the City-Parish Office of Community Development with a focus on affordable housing, housing rehab programs, economic development, and public service programs such as crime prevention, job training, housing for homeless, rent & utility assistance, youth recreation programs and community organization programs.
“I believe in the power of collaboration, local government and resident leaders working together to make transformative change in our community,” said Mayor Broome. “The reimagining of our Office of Community Development is one of the most effective ways we can improve our neighborhoods. The more we engage with residents and stakeholders, the more success we will see.”
The kickoff event for Community Development Month was this past weekend — a community bike ride through Scotlandville hosted by the Scotlandville-Banks Alliance. Community cleanups have been organized by the Safe Hopeful Neighborhoods partners for every following Saturday in April in different neighborhoods across the city. The next volunteer event is an Operation Cleanup at Star Hill Baptist Church, 1400 N Foster Dr., Baton Rouge, on Saturday, April 9 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., in partnership with Mayor Pro Temp LaMont Cole. Register at www.safehopefulneighborhoods.com/operationcleanup
Also launching this month are the latest Resident Leadership Academy and the opening of applications for Community Resident Grants. Residents can learn more and register for events at SafeHopefulNeighborhoods.com, the digital hub for Safe Hopeful Healthy BR’s pillar of equitable community development that allows residents to connect with resources, leadership training, community improvement funding, civic association support, community event sponsorships, and blight elimination efforts.
These efforts are a collaboration of the Office of Community Development, Mid City Redevelopment, several Metro Council Members, including Mayor Pro Temp LaMont Cole, Council Member Carolyn Coleman, Council Member Laurie Adams, Council Member Chauna Banks, Council Member Cleve Dunn, Council Member Darryl Hurst and Council Member Rowdy Gaudet, and community partners including the Mayor-President’s Resident Leaders, Scotlandville CDC, Clean Pelican, EBR Council on Aging, Scotlandville Saturdays, Gardere Initiative, Scotlandville Banks Alliance, Star Hill Baptist Church, and the LSU Geaux Big Day of Service.
- Operation Cleanup – Operation Cleanup will consist of service projects during National Community Development Month, that are hosted by Safe Hopeful Neighborhood partners, Metro Council Members, residents, and community partners. Anyone participating in these projects will have access to our tool-lending program to include trash bags, grabbers, gloves, water, ice chests, tents, chairs, DPW support, and marketing tool kits.
To see details about projects and their locations, please visit: www.safehopefulneighborhoods.com/operationcleanup.
For more updates regarding our events, visit our Facebook at https://fb.me/e/7teygcuPa.
- Tool Lending Program – Throughout the year, residents and partners will be able to access an online tool-lending program to ensure service projects, community improvement projects, community events, and blight remediation efforts are a success.
- Resident Leader Academy – The Resident Leader Academy training will be made up of 25 emerging resident leaders who show a demonstrated interest in leading neighborhood change. In order to increase impact and sustainability, the program’s goal will be to equip residents with the skills and resources to combat blight across the city.
Residents can apply at www.safehopefulneighborhoods.com/academy.
- Grants for Neighborhoods – Mayor Broome and her Office of Community Development are committed to supporting the formation and development of organized civic associations across East Baton Rouge Parish. Any civic association in a low- to moderate-income or disinvested neighborhood that can demonstrate both a clear need and the presence of a committed group of residents can apply for one of two programs:
- A grant to have their annual Secretary of State registration fees paid.
- A grant to pay for a professional’s services in the development of by-laws, organizing documents, neighborhood code of conducts, blight remediation, tax preparation, consulting real estate agent, etc.
- Grants for neighborhood-led community improvement projects.
Residents can apply at: www.safehopefulneighborhoods.com/civic-association-support.
- Grants for Community Projects – Neighborhoods and resident leaders will receive grants ranging from $1,000-$2,000 to support community improvement projects that are as diverse as the ideas and imagination of the residents who create them. Each project submitted for the grant will be for the benefit of their identified neighborhood.
Residents can apply at: www.safehopefulneighborhoods.com/love-your-block.
- Grants for Community Events – In addition to hosting several signature community events in coordination with Mayor Broome’s Office, her Office of Community Development, and Mid City Redevelopment, this program will serve as a centralized place for all community organizers and neighborhood leaders seeking sponsored events that provide a direct community benefit to community members.
Residents can apply at: www.safehopefulneighborhoods.com/community-event-support.
Residents interested improving the community’s Quality of Place can sign up on the neighborhood engagement hub at www.safehopefulneighborhoods.com.