Foundation Grants $1.6 Million in First Round of Flood Relief
The Baton Rouge Area Foundation has distributed more than $1.6 million to local nonprofits that have been assisting thousands of people pushed out of their homes by historic flooding.
The Foundation was able to make the grants because contributions of more than $2.5 million have poured in from private donors around the country to the Louisiana Flood Relief Fund. Companies and community foundations are responding as well, pledging much more money in coming days.
“People across America have shown that they care about the people of Louisiana,” said John G. Davies, CEO and president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. “We’ve received more than 14,000 individual contributions, and we are making grants as quickly as possible. On behalf of the people of South Louisiana, we thank our donors.”
Four days of torrential rain produced unprecedented flooding across South Louisiana. Places that had never flooded before went under water. The deluge damaged or destroyed more than 100,000 homes throughout the region, rescuers saved more than 40,000 people, and multitudes were left suddenly homeless, stranded in shelters long after the rains finally stopped. Unlike hurricanes, this disaster struck without warning or time to prepare.
The day after the flood, the Foundation dispatched staff in teams of two. First, they quickly assessed conditions at the shelters, making sure victims had adequate health care and supplies, much as the Foundation did after Hurricane Katrina. Next, the staff tallied the needs of local nonprofits that had depleted their own resources in emergency relief. Then the Foundation immediately began issuing grants to sustain those organizations that were close to exhausting their reserves, trying to care for the overwhelming number of flood victims.
Some of the grants have gone to meet needs that easily get overlooked in a crisis, like providing money to house families with children who have autism and cannot live in noisy shelters. Funding is also going to help the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and Cristo Rey Franciscan High School, both of which were forced to find new locations. Grants are provided to assist damaged schools and displaced students. Help is even going toward providing entertainment to restless children stuck in shelters, while their parents try to catch their breath and sort out the next steps for their families.
With an eye on improving the response, the Foundation has granted $100,000 to SBP (formerly St. Bernard Project) to expand to Baton Rouge. Created in New Orleans and now operating across the nation, SBP has transformed the way homes are rebuilt after a disaster. By modeling methods that made Toyota into the most efficient car manufacturer in the world, SBP has slashed the time between disaster and full recovery. Like a factory in high gear, volunteers follow a formula of prescribed techniques for ripping out and replacing the interiors of homes. Along the way, SBP also trains people so they can have jobs after the rebuilding process is complete. Since its founding, SBP has rebuilt homes for more than 1,150 families, deploying 150,000 volunteers in places like Columbia S.C., Joplin Mo., and Staten Island N.Y.
The Louisiana Flood Relief Fund was initially established with a $100,000 gift from BRAF assets to help people after spring flooding in North Louisiana. Donations to the Louisiana Flood Relief Fund can be made online at BRAF.org. Contributions to the fund are tax deductible.
A list of the first-round of grants follows:
Community Foundation of Acadiana - $250,000 – to support nonprofit organizations and efforts addressing the impact of the recent floods. The Community Foundation of Acadiana primarily serves eight parishes in south-central Louisiana. All eight of these parishes have been declared federal disaster areas in the wake of the recent flooding. The Community Foundation of Acadiana is actively evaluating the pressing needs in south-central Louisiana and this funding will support those non-profit organizations on the ground serving the community
Northshore Community Foundation - $100,000 – support to assist nonprofits and school systems recover from the recent floods. The Northshore Community Foundation serves the entire Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain, including St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Washington and St. Tammany parishes. The Community Foundation has already distributed $25,000 to the St. Helena Public School System
SBP - (formerly known as the St. Bernard Project) - $100,000 – support of the opening of a rebuilding and training center in Baton Rouge that will provide ongoing resources and technical assistance to Southeast Louisiana communities impacted by the recent floods
Livingston Parish Public Schools - $50,000 – to speed the recovery process so that students in the Parish can quickly return to safe school Facilities
Ascension Parish School System - $50,000 – to speed the recovery process so that students in the Parish can quickly return to safe school facilities
City of Baker Public Schools- $50,000 – to support the district’s speedy recovery
Central Community School System - $50,000 – to speed the recovery of the school system after the flooding and provide recovery services to students and faculty. The offices of the Central Community
Foundation for East Baton Rouge Parish Schools- $50,000 – to assist the schools system recover from the flooding by providing necessary resources and services
New Schools for Baton Rouge- $50,000 – sustainability grant to support the organization respond to the needs of the students, faculty and staff of the schools in its network impacted by the flooding
Cristo Rey Franciscan High School - $100,000 – sustainability grant to assist the school in recovering from the loss of its facility at Redemptorist High School
Healing Place Serve - $75,000 – grant to support food, clothing and supply distribution to impacted families
Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge - $50,000 – arts enrichment programs to children and families in area shelters; engage artists in outreach to children and families through arts therapy programs during the recovery
St. Vincent DePaul - $50,000 – sustainability grant to support the Community Pharmacy, which provides free and reduced medication to low-income clients
Baton Rouge Youth Coalition - $5,000 – support to provide replacement school supplies and materials lost by program participants who were preparing to enter or return to their college studies
Together Baton Rouge - $40,000 – grant to assist volunteer-led efforts to connect survivors with community resources and repair homes. Together Baton Rouge is organizing several home deconstruction work days to help residents more quickly return to flood damaged homes
Alzheimer Services of Greater Baton Rouge - $25,000 – sustainability grant to enable the organization to provide services to clients and their caregivers impacted by the floods
Boys and Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge - $25,000 – sustainability grant to enable the organization to provide services to low-income youth including after-school programming, counseling as needed and referral of client families to community resources
Greater Baton Rouge Area Food Bank - $25,000 – grant to assist the agency recover from the recent floods and distribute food to partner agencies
Young Leaders Academy - $25,000 – sustainability grant to enable the organization to provide services to low-income youth including after-school programming, counseling as needed and referral of client families to community resources
Life of a Single Mom - $25,000 – sustainability grant to enable the organization to provide services to client families including counseling and referrals to community resources
Lighthouse Christian Church - $2,500 – for food and clothing distribution
MetroMorphosis - $50,000 – through the Urban Congress on African American Males, provide capacity support to the organization to engage young men and their families throughout the recovery process, connect them to resources and help stabilize families
Big Buddy - $25,000 - sustainability grant to enable the organization to provide services to low-income, youth including after-school programming, counseling as needed and referral of client families to community resources
Unlocking Autism Baton Rouge - $50,000 – provide assistance to help families with specials needs children who have been displaced transition to safe, affordable temporary housing
ARC of Greater Baton Rouge - $50,000 - capacity support for services to disabled clients impacted by the flooding and facility repairs to the flood damaged Respite & Emergency Center for special needs clients
YWCA of Greater Baton Rouge - $50,000 – program services and recovery of the Early Head Start Program in the Glen Oaks area, an area heavily impacted by the flooding
Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge - $50,000 – program services and volunteer engagement to provide home repair services to help elderly and disabled low-income homeowners impacted by the flooding
Manship Theatre - $2,813.25 – to off-set costs of providing movies to flood survivors temporarily housed in the Baton Rouge River Center
Baton Rouge Community College Foundation - $40,000 – support of BRCC's Disaster Resource Center which will connect faculty, staff and students to recovery resources
BREADA Small Farm Survival Fund - $30,000 – to assist small, family farms recover from the floods
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge Inc. – $50,000 - support Spanish-speaking outreach to facilitate access to recovery resources and help stabilize families
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge- $25,000 – capacity-building grant to assist the organizations respond to the housing needs of low-income families in East Baton Rouge Parish
Mid City Redevelopment Alliance- $25,000 – capacity-building grant to assist the organization respond to the housing needs of low-income families in East Baton Rouge Parish; provide warehouse space for supply deliver and coordinate their distribution
About the Foundation: The Baton Rouge Area Foundation is among the largest community foundations in the country. We work in two ways to improve the lives of people across South Louisiana. One, we serve philanthropists in helping them to pursue the causes they care about. Two, we undertake projects for civic good. The Foundation and its fund donors have granted more than $400 million to nonprofits over more than five decades. Our projects include rebuilding inner city neighborhoods, reviving downtown Baton Rouge, improving health care services, and improving education and the quality of life. The Foundation also supports local nonprofits with strategic consulting services.