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Capital area non-profit reactivates donation portal after shutting it down from a lack of engagement

2 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Friday, December 01 2023 Dec 1, 2023 December 01, 2023 5:55 PM December 01, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Signs strategically placed around the city encourage residents to redirect their generosity from panhandlers to local charities, with BRhelps.org intended as a crucial link to the Capital Area United Way.

However, a recent setback saw the website disabled in October, leaving a void in assistance for those in need.

CEO and President of the Capital Area United Way, George Bell, says the donation portal was taken down in October. Organizers noticed a gradual decline in activity over the years, but things reached a tipping point when donations for the year hardly topped $500.

"We went ahead and deactivated it because it was something that we felt was not necessarily being supported or top of mind," said Bell.

One of those signs on Siegen Lane caught the attention of a WBRZ reporter, after it was vandalized with the words "No help, no contribute, no solution at all." The dormant website link lead the generous down a path to nowhere. 

When WBRZ reached out to the City-Parish and Capital Area United Way about the broken link, the site was reactivated before the end of the day. 

"We felt that we could just take it down without any major disruption, but I'm glad to see the attention to it," Bell said.

However, the fundamental challenge endures: organized efforts to combat homelessness can only thrive with sustained financial support. Baton Rouge faces the ongoing task of finding solutions to address homelessness amidst constrained resources.

Earlier this year, Mayor Broome's office took proactive measures by establishing a task force to identify new methods of intervention among those living in poverty. Distinct from the Homelessness Prevention Coalition, this initiative aims to enhance coordination and effectiveness in delivering services across communities.

Click here to donate to the Capital Area United Way.

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