Today, one in 20 people in New Orleans are homeless, one of the highest rates in the country. Since Hurricane Katrina, the homeless population has skyrocketed from 6,000 people to a staggering 19,000.
To combat the epidemic, HERO|farm approached the New Orleans Mission, one of the oldest assistance providers in the city, to talk about tackling the issue through a pro bono outreach campaign called NOLA Mission: Rescue.
Louisiana’s own myPhoneMD, a H|f client and one of the largest smartphone repair chains in the nation, has partnered with the New Orleans Mission to help launch the new, innovative campaign. The unique partnership enables myPhoneMD and its customers to support the Missions efforts by donating cellphones, airtime and a portion of the companys sales to create lines of communication for the homeless to find jobs and housingas well as reconnect with their families.
The initiative gives local businesses an opportunity to help rescue thousands of struggling individuals from the challenges of homelessness by donating services, proceeds or other elements. myPhoneMD, which specializes in urgent repairs of digital lifelines, is now using its services to not only repair devices but livelihoods as well.
“myPhoneMD wants to use the latest technology to help the less fortunate become self-sufficient,” said Jeff Lyons, co-founder of the company. “The world can be tough a place, but hopefully through this new campaign we can help make it an easier place to live.”
myPhoneMD is the first of several large enterprises to join the effort, with a new partner being announced each month in 2011. myPhoneMD, which operates six repair centers in Louisiana and one in South Carolina, plans to collect donated cellphones and deliver them to the Mission, along with paid airtime, to allow individuals in the Mission’s job placement program a contact number where they can be reached. The company will also donate a portion of their total smartphone accessory sale proceeds for one month to provide extra revenue for other New Orleans Mission programs.
“We serve more than 15,000 individuals every month,” said Linda Gonzales, Administrator of the New Orleans Mission. “Some have struggled for awhile while others just lost their job and dont know where to turn.”
Founded in 1989, the New Orleans Mission and its comprehensive rehabilitation services have helped thousands of struggling individuals jump-start their lives by temporarily providing clothing, food shelter and job placement. Since January, the Mission has helped 111 residents find employment. Overall, more than 37% of the Missions residents are employed fulltime while another third are looking for work through its employment program.
NOLA Mission: Rescue will culminate with a leg-up day on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at the New Orleans Convention Center where partners and supporters will help local, struggling individuals obtain the essentials needed to get back on their feet.
For more information on the campaign, please visit NewOrleansMission.org or call the HERO|farm Marketing Agency at (504) 451-4282.