In 2006, after Hurricane Katrina, Manti’s Future US Foundation wanted to create positive changes within Louisiana neighborhoods in the Baton Rouge area. TakeCare was formed as an initiative of Sister Judith Brun, CSJ’s Community Initiatives Foundation (CIF). To expand their efforts, Tommy’s Place, a child and family development center was created in 2013. in honor of Father Thomas “Tommy” Barberito, SJ, a Jesuit priest who served as pastor of a predominantly disadvantaged area church in Baton Rouge. Tommy’s Place was established to continue his work in that area, with the idea that systematic social change occurs only when parents and neighbors are involved in programs that impact their children.
The premise of TakeCare is that the quality of the neighborhood has a significant impact on the character and future life-quality of the children who live there. TakeCare engages neighbors in regenerating their neighborhood so it is a better place for all who live there, especially the children.TakeCare continues to remain active and positively impact the dedicated neighborhood it began with in 2006. Some accomplishments and ongoing endeavors of TakeCare are:
- The demolition of blighted homes in the targeted neighborhood
- Tending to overgrown lots in a neighborhood
- Community partnerships through the local university
- Organized neighborhood clean-ups
- Partnership with the local police, resulting in a decrease in crime
Tommy’s Place is committed to preparing children for school and life, by working to overcome developmental delays, which compromise success in school and life. More than 80% of the children in this neighborhood, as well as similar ones, experience delays in at least one of the following: mental progress, speech, behavior, and health. Parents are required to engage in understanding and practicing methods that characterize wholesome child-rearing. In addition, parents participate in their own personal development by setting goals for their education and/or work training.