The first meeting Coordinated Community Response Team brought several community leaders and nonprofits together Friday to begin addressing the parish’s most prevalent needs.

Bridgett Salsberry, advocate for Project Celebration Inc., says it’s about bringing together several outreach programs to serve a common goal.

“We were talking about all these outreach services and how they were all over,” she said. “In Shreveport, they have teams for everything – sexual assault, domestic violence, homelessness, and I thought we need a team, because in rural areas, it’s just different. This is everybody’s team. It will be what we make it to be.”

In light of April as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, two officers of the law received the Hope Award for their work in helping others in domestic abuse or sexual assault situations.
Springhill Police Detective Bryan Montgomery and Webster Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Teresa Rogers both received the award. Montgomery is an investigator for all types of crimes, but serves on the Northwest Louisiana Crimes Against Children task force as well as Bossier City Marshal’s Office and the FBI’s task force.

“We feel like we can’t say enough or do enough to recognize them for what they do,” Salsberry said.

With Project Celebration, these volunteers offer outreach services, help with protective orders, advocates to help victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault and they work with law enforcement in regard to these types of cases.

The goal of the first meeting was to get acquainted with each other as well as set a time and date for monthly meetings. Meetings will be the last Friday of every month at noon at United Way’s Center at 202 Miller Street in Minden.

Also at the meeting were Suzie Moseley, a representative of the Office of Veterans Affairs, Jeri Bloxom, director of operations for United Way of Northwest Louisiana Minden office, Jessica Lewis, director of the Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry, Paul Gray, director of the United Christian Home, Sgt. Tokia Whiting with the Minden Police Department, Minden Police Detective Keith King Jr., Vanessa Mayfield with Legal Services of North Louisiana, Inc. and Maggie Hadgkins of Springhill Mayor’s Office.

For more information, call Salsberry at 318-578-5523