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Free Tax Prep for Qualified Residents Underway at SUNO

Free tax preparation and financial advising is available at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) starting through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) program.

Those earning $51,000 can get assistance in preparing their state and federal tax returns. 

The volunteer tax preparers are certified by the Internal Revenue Service. Opened nine years ago, the office has served more than 1,500 families.

The SUNO VITA/TCE Tax Counseling Center is located in Room 114 of the SUNO Conference Center, 6400 Press Drive, New Orleans, LA 70126. The office will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until April 18, 2019.

Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome.  To file taxes for married-filling-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the forms.

To have your tax return prepared, be sure to bring the proof of identification (driver’s license or state ID); social security cards for yourself, your spouse and any dependents; all necessary proof of income, such as W-2, 1098 and 1099; bank account routing and account numbers (a canceled check is acceptable); total paid for daycare services and daycare provider’s tax ID number; and ITIN notices in lieu of social security numbers.

Sheriff’s Office to Hold Community Meeting Jan. 29

Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman and Compliance Director Darnley Hodge will update the public on events, accomplishments and challenges of the fourth quarter of 2018 at a community meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29 in the professional services building at Dillard University, 2601 Gentilly Blvd.

They will be joined by OPSO officials who will discuss jail operations. The meeting includes a question-and-answer period.

The quarterly meetings are held as part of the federal consent decree negotiated between the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s office and the U.S. Justice Department.

Mayor Cantrell Introduces Youth Study Center’s Leadership Team, Celebrates NBPA Foundation Grant

Earlier this month, Mayor LaToya Cantrell introduced the new leadership team in place at the Youth Study Center, and highlighted some of the recent positive developments at the facility, including the awarding of a two-year, $100,000 grant from the National Basketball Players Association Foundation (NBPA) to the Youth Study Center. 

The money from the grant will be equally divided into the two years and will support a partnership between the Youth Study Center, Elevate New Orleans and Travis Hill NOLA’s Welcoming Project. Through this grant, Elevate New Orleans will provide positive, sports-based youth development programming at the City’s Youth Study Center. Travis Hill NOLA’s Welcoming Project will provide reentry services and support once a youth has left the Center.

“The Youth Study Center is our top priority, and a central part of my administration’s commitment to Cure Violence and to address public safety as a matter of public health,” said Mayor Cantrell. “We are grateful for the investment the National Basketball Players Association Foundation is making in our young people and in our City. This funding will help provide programs that engage these young people at the Center, and set them up for success.”

Through this grant, the Mayor’s newly created Office of Youth and Families will join Elevate New Orleans in providing basketball skill development as well as life skills and career coaching for the young people at the Youth Study Center. 

The center is led by interim director Dr. Kyshun Webster. 

Approximately 20 youths, ages 15-17, who are detained at the Youth Study Center will attend athletic and career development programming for four hours each week. Once participants transition out of detention, they will receive an internship stipend and scholarship to pursue their own workforce pathway or educational goals.

Case managers from Travis Hill New Orleans’ Welcoming Project will support youth steadily for five years as they navigate work or educational options. The unique combination of recreation, mentoring, financial incentive and post-release support services has been proven to increase completion and placement rates in workforce development programs. It also establishes a coordinated network of care for individuals engaged in the juvenile justice system.

NOPD Collects Prom Dresses in Dresses for Dreams Drive

The NOPD is partnering with community organizations in efforts to help local high students have a memorable prom experience.

For the third year in a row, Fourth District Officer Qiana Lewis is collaborating with her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Omicron Nu Zeta Chapter, to collect prom dresses for deserving high school students. Officer Lewis launched Dresses for Dreams after learning that an alarming number of high school students choose not to attend their prom because of the cost of dresses and other prom items.

Last year, the NOPD collected more than 100 dresses for 60 junior and senior high school girls to choose from. The students not only received free prom dresses, but they also had the opportunity to get the full glam experience by getting their hair and makeup done by volunteer stylists and artists.

The Dresses for Dreams event will take place on Saturday, April 6. 

The NOPD is asking community members to donate new or gently used gowns to any of the drop off locations below.

The drop-off locations include:

NOPD Headquarters 

715 South Broad Avenue

Senator Troy Carter’s Office 

3401 General DeGaulle Drive, Suite 100

NOPD Fourth District Station, 

2405 Sanctuary Drive

We Dat’s Chicken and Shrimp

1407 Canal Street

We Dat’s Chicken and Shrimp

4500 Old Gentilly Road

Joan of Arc Church

919 Cambronne Street 

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