BATON ROUGE (NBC33) — The times have been tough for those living in the 70805 zip code of north Baton Rouge, home to the highest number of the city's homicides.
It's soon to be the target of the new Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination project, which is law enforcement's response to crime. But Hope Ministries is taking a different approach to turn around the neighborhood. .
"There's a direct correlation between poverty and crime," said Hope Ministries Program Director Janet Simmons, back in March. "And what we've been doing affects the poverty rate and by affecting the poverty rate, we're in effect, affecting the crime rate."
The goal of Hope Ministries is to help people get on their own path to self-sufficiency. They develop plans to get people out of poverty. They work with them for six to18 months, working on individual plans.
Friday afternoon -- just hours after neighbors found out about three separate overnight shootings -- Hope Ministries broke ground on new improvements soon to take form on their campus. Located right in the heart of the 70805, Hope looks for their small addition to create a partnership of pride that extends out into the rest of the neighborhood, increasing the infrastructure and quality of life.