Make Change NOLA

United Way of Southeast Louisiana in collaboration with the Downtown Development District, UNITY of Greater New Orleans, Council Member-At-Large Stacy Head, and Mayor LaToya Cantrell launched a new initiative called Make Change NOLA: A Better Way to Give. The program combines a public awareness campaign with mobile giving to harness the generosity of New Orleanians and tourists to support organizations working to combat homelessness and poverty.

Funds collected through this effort will go to social service providers that address homelessness, poverty, mental health and substance abuse. Anyone interested in contributing to this effort is encourage to text 'WAY' to 27222. Each text donates $10, through the giver’s cell phone bill, to the initiative. Contributions can also be made online at

The campaign aims to take a sympathetic approach to the growing number of panhandlers in New Orleans with the understanding that not all panhandlers are homeless and not all homeless individuals are panhandlers. According to UNITY’s most recent data, some 1,200 individuals in Orleans and Jefferson parishes are homeless and in need of additional resources to secure and maintain safe, affordable housing.

United Way will distribute annually funds collected through Make Change NOLA to four local nonprofit organizations focused on reducing homelessness and treating substance use disorders and mental illness: Bridge House/Grace House, Odyssey House Louisiana, NAMI New Orleans and Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans.

Listen to #LiveUnited Radio below for more details about the campaign.