For many different reasons, 52% of able-bodied African American men in the City of New Orleans can't find employment, are under-employed, or are shut out of jobs. Without employment, there is loss of purpose and dignity, which creates a vicious cycle of poverty -- economically, spiritually, and emotionally.
The average American spends $1.33 for every dollar earned. 7 out of 10 Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and only 1 out of 3 have a monthly budget. This stress and anxiety leaves families feeling hopeless and powerless.
For aspiring urban entrepreneurs, the resources and support networks needed to flourish are hard to find. The possibility for economic development and jobs created by small business start-ups abounds. But, all too often, the dreams of being a business owner are choked out.
As gentrification continues to have profound impacts on New Orleans, the poor are being pushed out to the periphery, far from jobs and services. New Orleans was No. 2 on the "10 worst metro areas for cash-strapped renters." 35 percent of renters in the New Orleans area devote 50% or more of their income to rent and utilities.
Over 40,000 homes remain blighted and uninhabited in New Orleans, creating havens for drugs and crime, as well as reducing the potential supply of affordable housing units.