Enduring and emerging from the challenges of the last few years exposed a great need in the Baton Rouge Community for long-term efforts aimed at transforming lives and communities. Today, many of our neighbors, family members, brothers, and sisters are struggling in their experiences with poverty and homelessness. The Christian Outreach Center is working to step further into answering their calls for help.
The Greater Baton Rouge Region has experienced an almost doubling of those experiencing homelessness since 2019, and hosts over 163,000 households who live just one catastrophe away from losing their ability to retain housing (United Way). Furthermore, the region is home to hundreds of men and women re-entering society after incarceration. 62% of them will be unable to find work in just 6 months of freedom, and 65% of them will remain unemployed after 4 years (Prison Policy Institute).
These shocking statistics provide the context as to why the Christian Outreach Center launched our strategic plan through 2027. Our neighbors need long-term solutions to the challenges created by cycles of homelessness, poverty, and incarceration.
By doubling our class offerings of Job Readiness and Financial Education coursework, we double the ability to of our neighbors to work towards self-sufficiency as they learn how to gain and retain gainful employment opportunities, defined as positions earning greater than $18 per hour according to our cost of living here in the GBR area (MIT).
By doubling our prison re-entry programming, HandUp, we double our capacity to serve those seeking self-sufficiency after paying their debts to society. In turn, we provide restoration and carry out the definition of Justice provided by God.
By doubling our Essential Services we create opportunities to serve the men, women, and children in our region living outdoors with the critical resources necessary to overcome scarcity and hunger. Then, and only then, can they focus their efforts on achieving self-sufficiency.
Bolstering our infrastructure to include a mobile vehicle, home, furniture bank, and public donations warehouse builds our community's capacity to reach into underserved areas and regions where assistance may not currently be available. And, by creating these internal structures of employment, we create roles which can be filled by graduates of our programs in their journeys to self-sufficiency.
Each of these take and increase in staff and resources to achieve effectively. That's why we're looking to grow our numbers each and every year as we work towards these goals.
But these aren't goals for us alone. You can help us in our work to restoring self-sufficiency and dignity in the region. You can help us create a healthier economy and community for all of us to share. You can answer the call of Jesus, Himself, by serving our neighbors. When you give and volunteer at the COC, you become a part of our work in transforming the Greater Baton Rouge Region. Our neighbors need each of us to take part in this plan to bring it to fulfillment, and you can take your step by clicking on the buttons below.
Join us in uplifting our neighbors, and transforming the Greater Baton Rouge Region, one life at a time, today.