BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)- Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced her ‘Safe, Hopeful, Healthy Initiative’ on September 19.

Broome says the plan for the initiative came from the rise of violence the East Baton Rouge area has experienced due to the pandemic.

“We know that violence, at its core, is induced by a number of factors; we know crime is more likely to occur when people are unable to meet their most basic needs: an education, a stable income, transportation, or access to nutritious food and healthcare,” said Mayor Broome. “The only way for us to move forward is to take a comprehensive, all-encompassing, approach to address the issues facing our community.”

The ‘Safe, Hopeful, Healthy Initiative’ will target to help stop violence, strengthen family support, revitalize neighborhoods, promote academic education and prioritize access to care. This will be done by a variety of stakeholders assisting the program.

Our Lady of the Lake joined the initiative to help provide more care for more children across the city.

“In partnering with the mayors office and being able to extend the work that’s already been started withy health centers and schools. We look forward to augmenting that work in junior high and high schools across our community, to better understand the impact of violence in those households, to be able to link the family with services they need,” said Coletta Barrett, Our Lady of the Lake’s vice president of mission.

The four pillars of our Safe, Hopeful, Healthy Initiative are:

  •   Prioritize Community-Based Public
  • Safety Stabilize Youth, Family and Community
  • Expand Health In All Policies
  • Create Equitable Community Development

The Initiative comes after the CARES acted granted the city two million dollars to be used for public safety.

“This program is part of a COVID response. We can spend more money this year on outreach and programming,” said Broome.

Residents in the 70805 and 70802 zip code area will be directly impacted by the initiative.

“We have seen an uptake in crime since the pandemic,” Broome said. “We recognize as I shared, Baton Rouge Police Department can’t solve it all, government can’t solve it all, in order to have an effective formula to address this uptake we have to have stakeholders at the table. Some of the best results of intervention happen when the community gets directly involved.”