United Way hosts ribbon cutting ceremony for opening of Prosperity Center

Published 3:18 pm Thursday, August 17, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

On Aug. 17, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its Prosperity Center in Bogalusa in partnership with the City of Bogalusa and the International Paper Bogalusa Mill.

The ceremony featured speeches from  UWSELA President and CEO Michael Williamson, Mayor Tyrin Truong, UWSELA Senior Vice President Chiquita Lattimore, Chief Equity and Impact Officer Mary Ambrose, International Paper Bogalusa Mill Manager Nakia Cowan, Prosperity Center client Denise Robinson and UWSELA Chair Ronnie Slone.

Each speaker expressed excitement and gratitude for the opening of the Prosperity Center and highlighted the changes and opportunities it can bring to the Washington Parish community.

“This campus is a significant step for us towards our vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated and economically stable,” Williamson said.

The new center is the third of its kind in Louisiana, and has officially opened its doors 79 days after the initial proposal to bring a prosperity center to Washington Parish.

“Bogalusa is on the map for something groundbreaking. Something inspirational,” said Mayor Truong. “I meet with a lot of people, and sometimes the meetings go somewhere, sometimes they don’t. Ladies and gentlemen, this came here, and it came here quick.”

UWSELA opened their first Prosperity Center in Orleans Parish in Nov. 2017, with the intention of providing low to moderate income communities an opportunity for financial stability through an array of services, including financial education and coaching, credit building and counseling, benefits screening and income tax assistance.

“It happened quickly intentionally, though, and with the same amount of love, care and intention that we put into all of the other Prosperity Centers,” said Chiquita Lattimore, Senior Vice President of United Way of Southeast Louisiana.

Moving forward, the center’s staff will be available to help participants understand their financial position and establish a plan to achieve their financial goals. Programming will be available to the public at no cost. 

The Prosperity Center Bogalusa Campus is located at 432 Ave. U in Bogalusa.  For more information on the United Way Prosperity Center, visit unitedwaysela.org/prosperitycenter.