All of our grant making, low-interest lending, convening and knowledge creation has one major goal: to increase economic opportunity among Louisiana’s most vulnerable communities. In our early days, this goal was focused on south Louisiana, in the areas hardest hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As our mission shifted from recovery to include building resilience, Foundation for Louisiana has begun to expand its work beyond New Orleans and the Gulf Coast into Shreveport, the Delta region, Lake Charles and Lafayette. In all cases, we steer investments to communities that have fallen behind in recovery along with those that have suffered historic disinvestment long before the disasters of 2005.
The Community Investment Fund (formerly known as Program-Related Investments) has been a critical piece in supplying communities with the resources to launch large development projects that bring much-needed resources back into devastated areas. Since 2008, Foundation for Louisiana has provided approximately $3.6 million in loans to projects and initiatives such as affordable housing units, healthy food access hubs in underserved communities and co-working, and place-based initiatives where the cultural economy can thrive. Our policy working groups also strive to stimulate economic development at the grassroots level.