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PHOTOS: Annual tree-trimming with Ursuline Academy

Young and homeless in New Orleans
Gambit (Della Hasselle and Alex Woodward) 12/7/15
UNITY found that since last year, the number of homeless youth in the New Orleans area had spiked — up 21 percent from 2013. More than half — 57 percent — lived in some sort of shelter like Covenant House. ‘Homeless kids, they’re much harder to find,’ said Jim Kelly. ‘They’re not the kind of homeless you’re going to see under the bridge. They’re gonna be in an abandoned building, or they’re going to sleep with someone to find shelter. They figure it out.'”

New Orleans strip clubs fend off vote on age limits for dancers, but City Council voices support
The Times Picayune (Robert McClendon) 12/7/15
For too long, New Orleans leaders have opted to ‘look away’ from the issue of coerced prostitution, happy to think of it as a problem that only exists in developing countries, said Councilman Jason Williams, one of the ordinance’s sponsors. ‘This is an effort to not look away,’ he said.”

VIDEO: Volunteers sleep on the streets for Covenant House (Loyola Student News Service) 11/19/15
Once I started to read about Covenant House and what they do, I was absolutely on board,’ said Lauren Thom, who owns the New Orleans boutique Fleuty Girl. ‘This is my second year sleeping out and I feel it has been a complete life changer. It’s an experience we all should have, and now it is something I look forward to doing every year before Thanksgiving.'”

City leaders sacrifice sleep for homeless youth
WDSU-TV (Casey Ferrand) 11/19/15
Michele Cooper, who lives on the Northshore, has participated in the event several times. ‘It’s one night… I’m willing to do that to help these children,’ Cooper said. ‘This is a program that really helps the kids by giving them the skills to save money, get a job, finish their degrees, if they need to, and give them a safe place to sleep.'”

VIDEO: Covenant House Sleep Out highlights need
WWL-TV (Natalie Shepherd) 11/19/15
“The support, counseling and structure they get here helps these young people get jobs and an education.  It’s a lesson Joquianna Bernard has been learning since she came here. ‘I started going back to school, doing what I had to do… there’s always something better coming. All you’ve got to do is work for it. There’s a lot of opportunities that come through here.’”

VIDEO: Sleeping Out on the streets to help homeless kids
WGNO-TV (Kenny Lopez) 11/8/15
“150 community and business leaders will sleep on the sidewalk in front of Covenant House and in the courtyard to show solidarity and support for the homeless youth.”

Amid crackdown on French Quarter strip clubs, Council wants workers to be 21 and older 
The Times Picayune (Robert McClendon) 11/6/15
“‘I believe this ordinance will help protect young women and young men from being preyed upon by pimps and johns,’ said Jim Kelly. ‘Dancing in strip joints has been shown to be one of the avenues to become a victim of human trafficking.'”

VIDEO: Ween Dream – Costumes for Covenant House
ABC’s “The Chew” 10/28/15
“For our moms to go out with their children in costume and trick-or-treat… it really makes them feel like part of the community.”

We must be prophetic in caring for those with least
Clarion Herald (Guest Column – Jim Kelly) 8/25/15
“There’s a strong connection between strip clubs and human trafficking So how about we do everything we can to save teenagers from that fate? How about we pass an ordinance that makes it plain that women under 21 aren’t allowed to dance topless?”

VIDEO: Hurricane Katrina’s youngest victims still healing a decade later
CBS Evening News (Mark Strassman) 8/25/15
“Danielle and Jamichael both returned to New Orleans. They are getting help from Covenant House, a community outreach organization. ‘It just made me a stronger person. It made me a better person.'”

Where will working poor live in future New Orleans, if gentrification continues?
The Times Picayune (Robert McClendon) 7/30/15
“Twenty-year-old Jonquille Floyd is on the hunt for an apartment… at his pay, he thinks he can afford something in the realm of $650, with some help from Covenant House, the shelter where he lives now.”

New Orleans should ban topless dancing for those under 21
The Times Picayune (Jarvis DeBerry) 7/29/15
“There’s a strong connection between strip clubs and human trafficking So how about we do everything we can to save teenagers from that fate? How about we pass an ordinance that makes it plain that women under 21 aren’t allowed to dance topless?”

Covenant House head urges council to toughen law banning under-21 dancers
The New Orleans Advocate (Jaquetta White) 7/24/15
“‘What we have learned over the course of the last year is that this law is not being enforced or followed by the strip joints,’ Kelly said. ‘Either they’re flouting the law or they don’t know it.'”

Strip clubs say age requirement doesn’t apply to topless dancers, only nudes
The Times Picayune (Robert McClendon) 7/24/15
Wright’s death is being cited by advocates urging for strict enforcement of a 25-year-old law meant to prohibit New Orleans club owners from hiring strippers younger than 21. The law’s language, however, is vague. It has no provision for penalties and is completely unenforced by city officials, according to youth advocates.”

Covenant House makes push for enforcement against underage stripping
WDSU-TV (Camille Whitworth) 7/24/15
“‘It’s our responsibility as a community to ensure our children are protected and safe. Over time, we would like to lift up New Orleans as a positive example and pass stricter laws in our surrounding parishes across the state,’ Kelly said.”

Activists push City to enforce underage drinking law
WWL-TV (Katie Moore) 7/23/15
“‘Perhaps some legislation that would cost these businesses dearly, their profit, which is the only reason these places exist, would be very helpful in encouraging self enforcement,’ said City Council At-Large Jason Williams.”

Covenant House to Ask City Council to Strictly Enforce the Minimum Age of Dancers
Covenant House New Orleans Press Release, 7/22/15
“Covenant House Executive Director Jim Kelly will appear before the New Orleans City Council this Thursday to urge the enforcement of a citywide ordinance prohibiting the employment of dancers under the age of 21 in adult establishments.”

Covenant House thanks Monty and Ingrid Williams
Covenant House New Orleans Press Release, 7/22/15
“The Williams are a family of faith. They understand that the most important thing they can do for our kids at Covenant House is to pray for them. We have been blessed this year by their goodness and compassion.”

New Study Reports 14 Percent of Covenant House Homeless Youth (86 Per Year) Are Survivors of Human Trafficking
Covenant House New Orleans Press Release, 3/10/15
“A Loyola University research group has released a study that reports eye-opening statistics about the prevalence of human trafficking among runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth in our community… ‘The numbers tell a sad and horrific story,’ said Executive Director Jim Kelly. ‘These are good kids who have experienced years of abuse, violence, and trauma.'”

Trafficking and Exploitative Labor Among Homeless Youth in New Orleans
Modern Slavery Research Project, Loyola University New Orleans, 3/10/15
“Based on the number of youth aged 16–23 that Covenant House New Orleans cares for over the course of a year (approximately 615), the findings indicate that approximately 86 residents a year are likely to be victims of human trafficking.”

Christmas Brings Joy & Opportunity to Covenant House Youth
Covenant House New Orleans Press Release, 12/23/14

Covenant House holds third sleep-out to focus attention on teen homelessness
The Times Picayune (Dinah Rogers), 11/28/14

PHOTOS: 3nd Annual Covenant House New Orleans Sleep Out
Copyright Cheryl Gerber, 11/21/2014

Dozens spend night on streets to support growing number of homeless youth
WVUE-TV, 11/21/14

VIDEO: ‘Sleep out’ raises awareness about homelessness in N.O.
WVUE-TV (Carolyn Scofield), 11/21/14

VIDEO: Sleeping out to help end homelessness (Interview with Mayor Mitch Landrieu)
WDSU-TV (Kelsey Davis), 11/21/14

VIDEO: Hundreds ‘Sleep Out’ to support New Orleans’ homeless and at-risk youth
WDSU-TV (Kelsey Davis), 11/21/14

VIDEO: Mayor, city leaders sleep outside to raise money for homeless kids
WDSU-TV (Gina Swanson), 11/21/14

VIDEO: Covenant House sleeps outside to raise awareness
WWL-TV (Natalie Shepherd), 11/20/14

Sleep Out Rallies Community Leaders in Support of Homeless & At-Risk Youth
Covenant House New Orleans Press Release, 11/20/2014

Covenant House’s Sleep Out for Homeless Youth Launches Capital Campaign
The Times Picayune (Sue Strachan), 10/31/14

Sleeping Out for Covenant House
St. Charles Avenue Magazine (Marilee Hovet), November 2014

City Using New Approach to Clear Overgrown Lots
The New Orleans Advocate (Jaquetta White), 9/27/14
“We see that we’ll have an exponential growth in the number of kids who can be job-trained,” Kelly said. “It’s a double bottom line. Our kids can feel good every day they’re out there cleaning up our city” at the same time they’re learning valuable skills.”

City’s Expanded Lot Maintenance Aims to Tackle Blight
WWL-TV (Antwan Harris), 9/25/14
“I like this idea,” Executive Director Jim Kelly said. “Let’s go into the toughest neighborhoods. Let’s go into the neighborhoods with the most of amount of shootings and let’s clean them up. I think then people will say lets take our neighborhood back.” The city hopes to take on 1,200 properties in the first year.

Covenant House Named Official 2015 Crescent City Classic Charity Beneficiary
Press Release, 9/9/14
The Crescent City Classic today announced their selection of 14 local charities to serve as the official Charity Partners of the 2015 Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic, taking place in New Orleans on Saturday, April 4, 2015.

Loyola Study Shows Strides in Human Trafficking, but Problem Persists
WVUE-TV (Rob Masson), 7/21/14
“Bars and concrete block, that’s not going to do anything. This is a person that needs counseling,” said Jim Kelly with Covenant House. The study found that between 2009 and 2012, 140 victims of human trafficking – some as young as 6 years old – were identified in New Orleans, and calls to a human trafficking hotline nearly doubled last year.

Covenant House Hits Close to Home for Monty Williams
The New Orleans Advocate (Darrell Williams), 7/2/14
“I was blessed when my parents were divorced and my dad wasn’t always around, I had a strong grandfather,” he said, getting choked up. “These kids don’t have that. They have the streets, and they turn to a lot of things that put them in the hole. So, Convenant House is a supplement for what they didn’t get… it’s a tough road.”

State Ends Housing Program for Teens Aging out of Foster Care
WWL-TV (Monica Hernandez), 6/19/14
Some teens who age out of foster care are turning to places like Covenant House, according to Jim Kelly. “I think we’re going to continue to see an uptick in the number of kids needing our services, because the supports that were there to help them as they turned 18, and to help them get on their feet, are completely gone,’ said Kelly.

Raising Funds on the Run
The New Orleans Advocate (Andrew Canulette), 1/28/14
Richard Arnold, of Covenant House, said his organization’s volunteers are hoping to raise $620 apiece ($100 for each of the 6.2 miles in the Classic). “This is the biggest race of the year in the city,” Arnold said. “It’s a great chance to reach out to people and educate them about the work we do. All funds will support at-risk youth in New Orleans.”

Dennis Haysbert Visits Covenant House
WGNO-TV (Jeff Womack), 1/2/14
Thursday morning, Haysbert played another important role, using his presence to inspire troubled youth at Covenant House. “What an amazing place for support, and the kids that come here have a great opportunity to move forward in their lives and be productive citizens.”

Covenant House Awarded Grant from Bi-Lo Holdings Foundation
Press Release, 12/31/13
Grant funds will be used to provide healthy meals to Covenant House youth.

Suffering Young Lives Redeemed at Covenant House
The Clarion Herald (Peter Finney Jr.), 11/25/13
“I’ve learned to be thankful for what I have,” Alan, a young resident, told the group. “It’s not over, even though you’ve been hurt so many times in life. I’m here for a reason. I’m not a mistake.”

Covenant House Sleep Out Rallies Community Leaders in Support of Homeless & At-Risk Youth
Press Release, 11/18/13
“On November 15th, 2012, over 30 business & community leaders here in New Orleans will join their peers in the 12 cities across North America in SLEEP OUT in the street in solidarity with nearly a million homeless young people, giving up the comforts of home for one night to show their support and raise awareness.”

PHOTOS: 2nd Annual Sleep Out
Photo credits: Cheryl Gerber, 11/18/13

“Homeless for a night: Lessons learned from a reporter’s night on the streets”
WWL-TV (Monica Hernandez): 11/17/13
“I am fortunate to have a comfortable bed to go home to, and a clean bathroom where I can brush my teeth and take a warm shower. I know that when I am hungry, I can get a meal. Moreover, I’m incredibly fortunate to have a supportive family who loves me. Hundreds of young people in New Orleans don’t have those basic needs.”

VIDEO: Monica Hernandez recalls her night sleeping on the streets for Covenant House
WWL-TV (Jaclyn Kelley): 11/15/13

Covenant House Sleep Out brings leaders together with homeless youth
The Times Picayune (Rebecca Catalanello): 11/15/13
Almost as soon as we pulled the sleeping bags over our legs, it started to rain. Not a serious rain. A gentle patter. Enough to keep our bags moist and remind us that we weren’t in control.”

VIDEO: Covenant House’s Annual Sleep Out
WDSU-TV (Blake Hanson): 11/15/13

WWLTV reporter, GM will sleep on streets to support homeless youth
WWL-TV (Monica Hernandez): 11/14/13
Two weeks before Thanksgiving, Eyewitness News reporter Monica Hernandez and general manager Tod Smith will grab a cardboard box and a sleeping bag and spend the night on the streets.”

VIDEO: Community leaders sleep outside Covenant House to raise money for homeless youth
WWL-TV (Monica Hernandez): 11/14/13

Covenant House Sleep Out offers chance to reflect on homeless experience
The Times Picayune (Rebecca Catalanello)11/14/13
“When you’re cold and you’re homeless, you’re not picky,” Bradford said. “A newspaper, a cardboard box, a plastic bag — anything to stop the wind. “You can imagine it,” he said, “but until you experience it, it’s hard to relate.”

Covenant House event aims to raise money and awareness of homeless youths’ plight
The New Orleans Advocate (Jaquetta White): 11/14/13
Forty-three people participated in last year’s inaugural event. This year, that number has doubled to 86, Kelly said. Last year’s participants were able to fit in Covenant House’s gated courtyard. This year, they are expected to spill out onto North Rampart Street.”

The Big Sleep
Gambit Weekly (Jeanie Riess): 11/12/13
“The most meaningful experience was being in the quiet of the night and physically putting your body down on the hard concrete,” Romig says of his experience last year. “It’s probably not even close to what they experience, but it’s as close as I’ll ever get.”

VIDEO: Cox Across Louisiana
Cox 4 (Steve Sawyer): 11/9/13

VIDEO: “The 504″
WUPLTV: 6/26/13

VIDEO: Area’s Only Shelter for Homeless Youth Seeing Record Numbers
WWL-TV: 5/12/13

VIDEO: City Enacts Freeze Plan
WWL-TV: 12/27/12

PHOTOS: 25th  Annual Christmas Luncheon
Photo credits: David Grunfeld, Times Picayune: 12/26/12

Harahan Group Brings Christmas Joy to Homeless Youth
WDSU-TV: 12/25/12
“A close-knit group of family and friends from St. Rita Parish in Harahan served up a holiday feast Tuesday to more than 100 homeless kids at Covenant House.”

For 25th Straight Year, Harahan Group Brings Christmas Joy to Over 100 Kids at Covenant House
Press Release: 12/25/12
“On December 25, Covenant House will mark its 25th anniversary the same way it has celebrated Christmas for the past twenty-five years: by enjoying a delicious holiday feast, served up by a close-knit group of family & friends from St. Rita Parish in Harahan.”

God’s mercy extends beyond ‘11 strikes and you’re out’
Clarion Herald: 12/21/12
“In a microwave society, everyone wants instant results. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially when you are in the business of saving lives gone horribly off the tracks.”

Providing Shelter and Hope for the Homeless in New Orleans: Editorial
The Times Picayune: 11/23/12
“The event was mostly symbolic, but having 40 civic leaders spend a November night in sleeping bags atop pieces of cardboard should have practical effects as well. The Nov. 15 Sleep Out — which included a City Council member, an ER doctor, a lawmaker, an appeals court judge, a bank president and the sheriff — raised more than $100,000 for Covenant House. But if those high-powered people act on what they experienced, it also ought to lead to better options for people who are living on city streets.”

PHOTOS: 1st Annual Sleep Out
Photo credits: Christopher Granger, Times Picayune: 11/16/12

Sleeping on Sidewalk is Opportunity for Reflection for 40 New Orleans leaders
The Times Picayune: 11/16/12
Tears filled the eyes of an emergency room doctor, a CEO and a New Orleans City Council member Thursday night as they sat at a table at Covenant House, a youth homeless shelter, listening to a 21-year-old mother explain how she had ended up there.”

VIDEO: Leaders Wake Up on the Street After “Sleep Out” to Spotlight Homeless Youth
WWL-TV: 11/16/12

VIDEO: Community Leaders Homeless For a Night
WDSU-TV: 11/16/12

VIDEO: Local Leaders Spread Homeless Awareness by Sleeping Out in the Cold
WWL-TV: 11/15/12

Covenant House Hosts First Annual Sleep Out
Press Release: 11/15/12
“On November 15th, 2012, over 30 business & community leaders here in New Orleans will join their peers in the 12 cities across North America in SLEEP OUT in the street in solidarity with nearly a million homeless young people, giving up the comforts of home for one night to show their support and raise awareness.”

Covenant House is a Place of Refuge for Teens
Clarion Herald: 9/13/12
“Jessica, a student at a magnet high school in New Orleans, had lived in a crazy home environment for so long that she was beginning to think her mother’s explosive tantrums were normal and perhaps even justified.”

Inspiring Young Woman Finds Hope and a Bright Future through Covenant House
The Times Picayune: 8/21/12
Monday was Irma London’s first day of college. She entered the Charity School of Nursing Program at Delgado Community College on her way to her dream of becoming a nurse.”

Covenant House’s New Mission
Gambit: 7/26/11
“David Thier on how Covenant House is seeing more local kids than ever before … and what the charity is trying to do about it.”