TBR announces 100 living wage recovery jobs

Interested applications may apply at: togetherbr.nationbuilder.com/jobs

Jobs pay $15 per hour for house-gutting and mold-remediation, starting with highest priority families -- elderly, disabled and families with children, especially those still living in mold-infected homes

Program funded with support from BRAF, individual donors.

Donations to expand the program may be made here

A week after the Great Flood, TBR leaders were grappling with how to expand capacity to meet the daunting scale of the devastation of their community, when we got an email with a “crazy idea” from a 70-year old woman in Cape Cod named Betsy Smith, who had been directed to the organization by the local NPR affiliate.

"Rather than just donate money,” Ms. Smith wrote in her email, “I would like to donate $120 to pay an unemployed person $15/hour for an 8-hour day's work helping with the clean-up effort. This would have a multiple effect--it would supply labor for the clean-up, it would put money into the economy in the form of wages for someone who is currently unemployed, and it might encourage others to give to a specified, dedicated fund."

Ten days later, Ms. Smith's "crazy idea" is becoming a reality.


Together Baton Rouge is announcing the creation of 100 new recovery jobs paying $15 per hour, exclusively for residents of flood-affected parishes. The jobs are tough, manual labor gutting houses, starting with the homes of the highest-need residents. The work is full-time, but, for now, temporary -- there is a commitment for 30 days of funding so far.

After receiving Ms. Smith's email, TBR announced the idea on Facebook and received some 200 small-dollar donations to support trying to make it happen. The organization committed $20,000 to get the ball rolling. Then, earlier this week, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation committed $250,000 to take the idea to scale over the next month.

The program’s overhead will be covered by TBR’s existing staff and other grants, so 100% of the funding goes to workers. Four local, non-profit construction organizations will employ the workers: Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge, Mid City Redevelopment and the Louisiana Environmental Action Network.

Together Baton Rouge is seeking additional donations to expand the program beyond thirty days to help Baton Rouge residents, not only recover and gut out their houses, but face the bigger challenge – to rebuild.

“We hope to turn this into opportunities for job-training and permanent employment,” said Edgar Cage with Together Baton Rouge. “There is going to be a moment when a lot of people in our community simply don’t have the money to rebuild their homes. An expanded version of what we're doing now could help us face that challenge from a place of equity and social justice.”

Donations may be made at here.

Follow TBR online at facebook.com/togetherbr and twitter.com/togbr

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