February 4, 2016
By EMMANNUEL S. SELF (via Facebook Note)
To whom it may concern:
With all the abandoned buildings on Foster Drive and Plank road, there should be something done to them to help with productivity in North Baton Rouge.
I have a lot of ideas as to what should happen to some of those buildings that I'm willing to share.
A soup kitchen that's maintained by students of the Culinary school. Culinary students can work/manage this soup kitchen for college credit, volunteer work and maybe a small pay for their hard work (or maybe the possible payment could go into their tuition or something). The idea is that the culinary school would have some firsthand experience in the field and some homeless people get to eat in the process.
I dub this idea "Second Chance"--it's pretty much a combination of a homeless shelter, rehab center, GED Center, Mental Health and Workforce Assistance. Homeless people could live at the shelter for as long as they need to until they're cleaned up of all the drugs or mental problems that harbor them and while they're in the program, they could be placed in jobs or schooling. If they relapse or something happens, they just go back to the program until they can find another job and such.
My other idea is a park. First story could have weight training, an indoor track, a basketball court (maybe a few). Outside could be a wide open field and a forested area with trees. The second layer could be a lounge with a couch, a television, maybe some video games, a place to go to buy some healthy snacks, maybe a restaurant. A pool should be included for those that want to learn how to swim as well as a matted room to help people that want to practice their gymnastics. The idea of this is that it'll be an ultimate park. A place that has everything that this town may need for recreation and the building on the corner of Foster and Choctaw seems like a pretty good place to make that happen.
I'd personally try to initiate these myself but I lack the funding and the assistance to make these into a reality. However, I hope my suggestion doesn't fall on deaf ears. I've lived in North Baton Rouge for a long time (back when that Star Hill Church was just a bunch of trees) and if there's one thing I know is that the reason behind the crime is simply because people are bored and it's not like there's something to do nearby to go to.
The distance between progress is almost unreachable thanks to the notoriously inadequate public transportation but rather than relocate everything. I suggest we take charge and do something with all the empty space we have here. Some of these buildings have been sitting for years with nothing done to them. Isn't it time that changes for the better?
These ideas will not only help the people but provide jobs that could actually become stable (if you ask the people that work at the Eden Park Library Branch, I'm sure they can tell you that it's not all bad on this side).
The more progress that happens on both sides of town, the better the local economy can be and the better the reputation for the entire city. Please consider this.
Special thanks to Emmannuel Self for allowing us to repost this note.
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