Civic Leadership Initiatives
As our Foundation continues to grow, so does the vital role we play in our region. As we spend our days working with philanthropists in our communities, it has become our nature to be visionary, since we are in the legacy building business. What we have found is that our unique position enables us to use our expertise, credibility and connections to lead on opportunities and challenges that face our place and our people. We convene the private and public sectors to share information, explore ideas, identify levers for change and create common agendas for the future. Partnerships and collaborations guide the work, and the product is building a better place.
SuperRegion Symposium and Vision Creation
As it relates to the efforts of our Foundation and many, many other partner organizations, we spend a great deal of our human and financial resources to protect our region’s quality of life while simultaneously promoting economic prosperity for all. What we realize clearly is that we all stand to gain from a shared vision and integrated approach. Launched with a regional symposium in November of 2014, the Foundation is now leading an effort to create that shared vision and strategic work plan for how our Northshore region becomes an equal partner in our super regions success.
Homelessness in our Region
One of the most unknown, yet shocking, statistics on quality of life in our region is the number of homeless individuals and families living among us. Foundation and Parish government have worked together to provide funding and resources to develop and launch a Family Promise affiliate in our region. Family Promise is a well-respected national model where churches and the faith based community come together to provide shelter to homeless families with children. Instead of looking to government to build a facility and to public funds to provide on –going services, this model links existing resources with opportunities to serve in our own backyard. The Foundation’s initial investment in research and capacity development has now successfully launched a stand-alone non-profit addressing this dire need.
As the protector and defender of all things quality of life in our region, our Foundation cannot highlight enough the reality of what rising sea water levels, coastal erosion and literally shifting tides will mean to our long term safety and economic stability. In 2013, the Foundation hosted a “Water Symposium” bringing in scientist and economists from around the region to educate our local community leaders on the realities we face. From this dialogue, local policy makers have enhanced focus and greater determination to affect change as is relates to Northshore economic and environmental protection and resiliency based on ever developing water research. The Foundation took the lead on educating our community leaders – public and private – so we all could be better equipped to make decisions and set visions based on sound science and economic reality.
“These partnerships will prove to be critical to expanding this job growth sector and connecting our graduating students to employers and jobs that will allow them to remain in Louisiana.”
—Michael Hecht, CEO, GNO Inc.