Billi LaCombe's two year term as president of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence did not go unnoticed when it concluded earlier this year as she earned the coalition's Statewide Leadership Award.
LaCombe joined Faith House 14 years ago and has been its director the past decade. She served as president of LCADV from 2010-2012.
During her term, LaCombe made a complete makeover of the LCADV board and the organization as a whole, and initiated changes to its bi-laws, policy and the focus of the coalition.
"We kind of brought it up to date," says LaCombe.
The board formerly consisted soley of people representing the domestic violence programs across the state, but LaCombe thought its mission could be better served by diversifying.
"We needed to change that because the coalition hopefully will begin funding the programs through different opportunities," LaCombe says, adding that now the board consists of 60 percent program members and 40 percent community partners "which will be people from unrelated fields like DAs, state legislatures — people that have some influence from the state."
The state-wide coalition works on things like public policy, the Legislature, presents outlook awareness programs and provides technical assistance and training. There are 20 domestic violence programs that represent every parish in the state, says LaCombe. Faith House serves five parishes in Acadiana.
"All of our programs throughout the state have suffered with the economy," says LaCombe. "Donations are down, and grant sources are reducing every single year while the amount of work that we are doing is increasing the need for our services and it has been increasing steadily over the past five years.
"So, our coalition is really working hard to bring the resources that we need to be able to saves the lives of battered women and children in the economy."
The southern portion of Louisiana has the highest rate of domestic violence, but it also has the largest population. "So, it's all kind of relative," says LaCombe. "However, we do tend to have more domestic violence homicides and those sorts of things in the southern part of the state."
LaCombe says it is difficult to get hard numbers on this issue, but the region ranks in the top two or three where domestic violence/homicides and incidents are concerned. A little more than 2,000 people benefited from Faith House services, she says.
And while two domestic centers in the state have closed from a lack of support and funding, Faith House is standing on firm ground.
"Our community has been extremely supportive in many ways," she says. "While we have seen reductions in donations and things like that, volunteer involvement has increased significantly. So this community really believes in what we do in our work and continues to support us tremendously."
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, April 17, 2014:
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
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