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."
Abshire has rejoined the Lafayette Bar Association, where she previously served as marketing coordinator under longtime Executive Director Susan Holliday
Home-grown Baton Rouge market/deli heads to Lafayette.
Deadline for submitting noms for annual competition is March 15
Whitney Bank officials have confirmed that the downtown branch will cease to exist when it relocates its regional headquarters to River Ranch at the end of May.
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Downtown Lafayette restaurant launches new concept near Le Triomphe
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Yeah, it's smoked venison sausage stuffed in a suckling pig stuffed in a lamb and roasted over an open fire.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Reamco founders Brent Milam and Ashley Lane now shareholders in acquiring company and part of its management team.
Low heels, high style
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.