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."
Casual cool for Thanksgiving
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The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
A divided 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a Lafayette district judge’s ruling absolving the co-owner of a New Iberia accounting firm of liability in an embezzlement case.
Our View: It’s reasonable, temporary and invests in Lafayette’s future.
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By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
Three bedroom in Port Barre or two bedroom in Opelousas
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
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State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
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After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
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