March 28 2014 | Latest NewsTania Dall / Eyewitness News WWLTV.com
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The murder rate in New Orleans is down and the Landrieu Administration says program's like Nola for Life are the reason why.
Now the local hospitality industry is answering the call to help curb violence across the city.
"It keeps us off the streets, keeps us doing something positive, keeps us focused. We do this like every day, so, the more we do this, the more we off the streets," said Midnight Basketball player Brian Lewis.
From Midnight Basketball marking its sixth season this year, to job fairs and family violence screenings, Nola for Life is a city program aimed at curbing violence in New Orleans. "Its our murder reduction initiative throughout the entire city but focusing on young African-American men and boys," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
On Thursday night, members of the hospitality industry and community showed up to a Nola for Life fundraiser, inside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The goal was to raise more funding from the private sector for the anti-crime reduction program.
The service industry is teaming up with Nola for Life which is posting job openings and promoting incentives for those willing to walk away from a life of crime. "All of the hotels, the restaurants are also helping to provide jobs for these young men as we create this pathways to progress," said Mayor Landrieu. "This City has turned a corner and this is the last piece we need to put in place," said New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau President & Ceo Stephen Perry. He says it's the hospitality industry's responsibility to give back to the community and Nola for Life is one avenue, because what happens in the Crescent City impacts everyone. "You look at our industry its 80,000 employees from every neighborhood, every street. Whether you're a young person, a mid-career person you're part of us," said Perry. Since the spring of 2012, the city says Nola for Life engaged nearly 1,000 citizens in cleaning up crime hot spots and reducing blight.
A work expo showcasing 300 job openings targeted about 1,000 young applicants ages 16 to 30, connecting them with 30 local service and training programs.
If you or someone you know would like to get involved, click here, for more information.