BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - For three weeks, Together Baton Rouge has pulled together groups of volunteer workers to help gut and clean homes, but the need is far greater than what free help can support.
The grassroots organization has created 100 new jobs that will pay $15 an hour. The work will be hard, but it is full-time for a minimum of 30 days.
"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."
The idea started with Betsy Smith, a 70-year old woman from Cape Cod.
"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."
After 10 days, her idea is becoming a reality, thanks in part to individual donors and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, which committed $250,000 to the idea.
All of the money collected will go to pay for the new works, which means all of the money will go directly back into the community.
"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," states the press release.
To make a donation, click here.
To apply for a job, click here.
For more information, please contact Broderick Bagert at (225) 803-5876.