Community Impact

Nonprofits touch our lives every day, and the Community Impact series highlights their critical work and the difference they are making.

Each week, New Orleans-based producer Eve Abrams brings you the stories of diverse groups working across southeast Louisiana. You’ll hear directly from leaders and staff on the frontline of important issues, from dedicated volunteers and from the people whose lives have been improved by these nonprofits.

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Eve Abrams / WWNO

Friends of Lafitte Corridor seeks to revitalize the Lafitte Corridor by working to build, program and promote the Lafitte Greenway as a great public space.

“I brought my family along with me: my husband, my granddaughters. We come to have a good time,” says Ariska Everette, who’s sitting on a folding chair in front of a giant movie screen on the Lafitte Greenway. There’s a tub of popcorn in her lap. She’s waiting for the film Annie to start, but she says just being outside, in this space, feels great.


VIA LINK provides information, referrals, training and crisis intervention to people, organizations and communities so they can help themselves and others.

The VIA LINK call center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to listen, answer questions and provide resources to people who call 211 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If a caller is in crisis, the confidential counselor who answers will start helping them on the spot.


Since 2009, Propeller tackles the tough challenges in New Orleans by launching socially-minded ventures.

Propeller helps start up companies that have environmental and social missions. Their accelerator program helps entrepreneurs with solutions in primary sectors including health care, education and water. They’re trying to create a critical mass of entrepreneurs tackling these issues form multiple angles in order to move the needle forward on tough topics like obesity, childhood education, and getting more people in Louisiana insured.

Micah Project

The Micah Project develops a base of youth leaders to mitigate gun violence and eliminate the school to prison pipeline.

Meet Dolfinette Martin.

“I did 7 years, 4 months, 26 days in LA Correction Institute for Women. That was my 4th prison stay, but by God’s grace, my last.”

Dolfinette Martin had five children when she went to prison – for shoplifting – what she saw at the time as her only way of providing for her kids.

Eve Abrams

Wetland Resources plants hurricane resistant trees to protect Louisiana’s coastline.

Demetra Kandalepas is a senior scientist at Wetland Resources. We’re on the way to visit their bald cypress and tupelo nursery. It’s in the middle of a marsh. We drive down a muddy path next to a huge, raised pipe.

Eve Abrams / WWNO

Edible Schoolyard New Orleans works to empower generations of New Orleans children to build and maintain healthy relationships with food, the natural world, themselves and their community.

Stefin Pasternak, is the lead chef educator at Samuel L Green Charter School, home of one of Edible Schoolyard’s two teaching kitchens, and one of their five school gardens. He directs two students to set the table for a communal meal.

Eve Abrams

The YMCA of Greater New Orleans is taking steps to reduce the burden of diabetes by offering a Diabetes Prevention Program, so that people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes don’t.

When you think YMCA, what comes to mind?

Volleyball, helping kids, swimming, gymnastics, the gym, the song.

Eve Abrams

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services helps people tackle civil legal issues for a stronger, safer, better life.

James Welch is a staff attorney at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, and two days a week he works at a place called Single Stop.

“We have so many students who come in here when they just need a rest, a place to come where no one is snarling at them,” laughs Welch. “Unfortunately, it’s tough. This is like an oasis.”

Eve Abrams / WWNO

Since its formation in 2006, the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development has worked hard to advocate for a healthier, more sustainable Lower 9th Ward.

“We are in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana,” declares Arthur Johnson, CEO of the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development. “This is on the Holy Cross side. The river is right on my right. I can see the tall ships from here.  That’s how close we are to the river.

Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance

The Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance is a collaborative formed by the non-profit housing builders and community development corporations who are working diligently to rebuild the city of New Orleans.

“The Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance is a collaborative of non-profit, for-profit, builders and advocates of affordable housing here in the metro area,” says Andreanecia Morris. “We have been working together to create more affordable housing in New Orleans as we rebuild the city.”