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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1. Open Itunes

2. Go to the File Menu, click on Subscribe to Podcast…

3. Enter this URL: itpc://wwno.org/podcasts/6101/rss.xml

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Chartwell Center

Just a few blocks from the intersection of Napolean and Magazine Streets is an unassuming yellow shotgun house. From the street there is no way to know this is a school — a very special school.

Inside and down the hall is the elementary school of the Chartwell Center, a nonprofit dedicated to serving children with autism spectrum disorders. In one of the two classrooms, Hayden and Matt — ages 8 and 9 — go over a recipe for a drink called Sunset Juice with their two teachers.

Ellen Katz is a Managing Attorney at the Advocacy Center, a non profit which helps protect the rights of people with mental and physical disabilities — people from all over Louisiana. Other staff members at the Advocacy Center make home visits, but much of Ellen’s work is conducted over the phone. 

“Hi Miss Fisher, how are you today?” Ellen asks a new client.

In the wide-ranging effort to reform the New Orleans criminal justice system, this new nonprofit works for more equal access to expungements of criminal records to help people get jobs and move on after release.

At the edge of Terrebonne Parish, and on the front lines of Louisiana's coastal erosion crisis, a community center with a long history for the Native American Houma people is focused on resiliency for the future.

An organization formed to help people fleeing the Vietnam War establish themselves in the U.S. is now helping a Gulf Coast community deal with the impact of much more recent history.

From crime and jobs to education and local history, a new program is analyzing how factors in our neighborhoods and closest to home impact life in New Orleans, and it's giving residents the data they need to petition for positive change.

After spending many years behind bars before being exonerated, a group of criminal justice reformers are working to teach New Orleans youth the value of their freedom and their own power to make the right choices.

In the new landscape of public education in New Orleans, many students crisscross the city each day to attend classes. But a new initiative is aimed at making the neighborhood school just down the street into a more accessible hub to find enrichment programs and other services.

Family members are often the first to notice signs of mental illness in a loved one, and in many cases they hold the key to unlocking treatment. One local nonprofit is helping them cope with the impact of mental illness on the whole family and showing them how to be better advocates for the long haul.

As film production work pours into Louisiana, a nonprofit media arts group is helping locals access jobs and cultivating a more robust local film community. 


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