The Problem

Residents in the West Natchitoches neighborhood face a complex web of challenges which force families into a downward spiral that impacts not only them but the entire community. Low median household incomes, low educational levels, and high unemployment and poverty rates lead to high crime rates, increased incarceration rates, broken families, substance abuse, and poor health outcomes.

The Opportunity

The Ben D. Johnson Auditorium Complex has a long history of education and entrepreneurship in its predominantly African American community. This approximately 34,000 square foot commercial complex will be home to the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center where food service-based social enterprise will bring positive social and economic change to the entire community.