Baptist Friendship House Presented with the 2018 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award
On Friday, May 3, 2019, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher A. Wray presented Baptist Friendship House Executive Director Kay Bennett with the 2018 Director’s Community Leadership Award on behalf of the FBI New Orleans Field Office.
Founded in September 1944, the Baptist Friendship House began its ministry in New Orleans and almost since inception has taken on the responsibility of feeding the New Orleans homeless community. Over the years, this mission became vital to assist feeding homeless women and children in Louisiana through the Baptist Friendship House Transitional Housing Program.
Operating with a limited staff and the generosity of volunteers, the Baptist Friendship House continues to offer a variety of services to those in need. The staff provided in-house counseling to over 1,100 women and referred another 3,300 to outside counseling. Baptist Friendship House also offers day programs such as educational course, computer skills, job readiness training, English as a second language, life skills, as well as Bible studies.
In addition to the meals, snack packs, and hygiene products provided to the New Orleans homeless community on a daily basis, the Baptist Friendship House also advocates on behalf of human trafficking victims, and partners with other agencies to assist in legislative recommendations. Baptist Friendship House has also hosted numerous training courses on human trafficking to bring about awareness on this important matter. Through their hard work and dedication, Baptist Friendship House has assisted nearly 40 human trafficking victims by providing housing, transportation, counseling, clothing, food, hygiene articles, and referrals.
The FBI New Orleans Field Office nominated Baptist Friendship House for the 2018 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for their extensive work in the Human Trafficking arena. The FBI recognized the significant contributions made by the Baptist Friendship House through victim services with those rescued from Human Trafficking situations, lodging and food for victims, one on one counseling, interactions with law enforcement to help stop Human Trafficking, and training for Law enforcement personnel.
On Friday, May 3, 2019, Baptist Friendship House Executive Director Kay Bennett, accompanied by members of her staff and family, traveled to FBI Headquarters in Washington D.C., where FBI Director Christopher Wray formally presented Baptist Friendship House with the 2018 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for their tremendous efforts and work within the New Orleans community. Accepting the award on behalf of the Baptist Friendship House was Executive Director Kay Bennett.