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Local News Non Profit Spotlight

BCBSLA Helps YSB Clients Stay Safe & Connected

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When face-to-face interaction became too risky during the Covid-19 pandemic, some Northshore families who depend on Youth Service Bureau for vital services could have fallen through the cracks.

But thanks to a grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, YSB has continued serving our clients safely and effectively using telehealth.
Telehealth — sometimes called telemedicine — is the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to provide healthcare when the patient and the provider are not in the same place at the same time.

Perhaps no YSB clients have benefited more from telehealth than those served by our Options program. Options is our family-focused, licensed outpatient treatment program for adolescents experiencing problems with alcohol and/or other drugs and mental health concerns. Options’ mission is to intervene in the destructive cycle of addiction by assisting adolescents and families in the recovery process. Options provides a range of services such as intervention and outpatient treatment for children ages 12-17, family education and counseling, parenting and anger management classes.

Where does telehealth fit in? According to Options Program Director Jennifer Walkenford, “We are using telehealth to meet our clients’ needs for individual and family counseling. For instance, during the state’s stay-at-home mandate, our Anger Management clients were able to attend group counseling on Zoom. Later, when we were able to resume some in-person meetings, we began using Microsoft Teams to host hybrid online/in-person meetings for Anger Management and Parenting. A computer is set up at the meeting so that clients linking in virtually can see and fully participate with the in-person group.”

And the advantages of telehealth go beyond the challenges of Covid-19.

“Many clients have transportation issues and time constraints that make it difficult for them to get to our offices,” Walkenford notes. “Telehealth allows these clients to receive uninterrupted services without physically traveling to the office or having to worry about transporting their adolescent to the office.

“Telehealth is an added resource we can offer clients once they have completed the initial face-to-face intake. Telehealth allows us to schedule clients in a way that is more convenient for them and enables our therapists to meet consistently with clients and their parents or caregivers.” All YSB therapists and interns are telehealth-certified.

YSB is deeply grateful to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana for helping us stay connected with the families we serve throughout the pandemic and going forward.

Non Profit Spotlight

YSB Crossroads & The Louisiana Bar Foundation: Tackling Juvenile Delinquency Together

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From the Youth Service Bureau:

Helping non-violent juvenile offenders turn their lives around is one of Youth Service Bureau’s main missions. YSB carries out this important work through Crossroads, our juvenile delinquency intervention program.

YSB Crossroads helps youth restore their relationship with the community through restitution to victims, community service, anger management counseling, Internet safety education, parenting education for their parents or legal guardians and – thanks to the Louisana Bar Foundation – Law Related Education.

Supported by a generous grant from the Louisiana Bar Foundation, Law Related Education puts juvenile offenders on a more positive track through better understanding of the law, legal system, and consequences of crime. Aimed at 10- to 16-year-olds who have committed non-violent offenses such as shoplifting, vandalism and others, these classes help juvenile offenders take responsibility for their actions and make better decisions.

Law Related Education incorporates classroom lectures, role-playing and testing. Juvenile offenders learn the legal definitions and potential sentences associated with assault, battery, vandalism, burglary, robbery, theft, drug possession, cyberbullying, cyberstalking and other offenses. Louisiana Bar Foundation funding enables YSB Crossroads to staff and administer the program and work closely with clients to improve their outcomes. YSB Crossroads is fortunate to have local attorneys teaching our Law Related Education classes – Shannon Christian (at our Slidell location) and Veronica Kittok (Covington location).

An eye-opening segment of the course is “No Kinda Life,” a video filmed at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola and the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel. “No Kinda Life” presents an unflinching picture of prison life, with inmates explaining how they became incarcerated and losses they suffered due to poor choices, including drug and alcohol use. The video is a powerful springboard for meaningful class discussion and group participation.

Together, the Louisiana Bar Foundation and YSB Crossroads are changing lives.

In the last fiscal year:

  • 97.7% of YSB Crossroads clients completed their community service
  • 96% successfully completed the YSB Crossroads program
  • 99.5% of those completing the program had not re-offended six months later

YSB Crossroads is deeply grateful to the Louisiana Bar Foundation for making this life-changing resource available to our community. The Louisiana Bar Foundation exists to preserve, honor, and improve our system of justice. YSB is humbled and excited to be a partner in that vital mission.

Visit Youth Service Bureau to find out more about what we do!

Click here to learn more about the Louisiana Bar Foundation.

General Local Events Local News

“Your Santa Breakfast” at Lakeview

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On Saturday, Dec. 1, Lakeview Regional Medical Center will be transformed into an action packed holiday festival when Youth Service Bureau presents “Your Santa Breakfast.” Children will enjoy a delicious hot breakfast featuring beignet bites, breakfast wraps and “legendary” loaded grits, prepared on site by Fidelity Bank/Nola Lending Group. Activities will include train rides aboard the Lakeview Express, a cookie decorating station with Mandeville’s Culinary Kids, ornament making, “reindeer food” mixing and bagging, hands on “reindeer games,” and more. Children also will enjoy storytelling with local author Tracie Schaefer, who will read her award winning book, “The Greenest Tree.” A letter writing station provides an opportunity to pen a note to Jolly Ole Saint Nick, which can be deposited into Santa’s special North Pole Mailbox.
Tickets to the event, which include breakfast, the souvenir photo and all activities, are $15, with parents/guardians offered free admission.

Proceeds from the Your Santa Breakfast event will benefit Youth Service Bureau’s CASA and TASC programs. Last year, Youth Service Bureau helped 1,825 children in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes. CASA volunteers provided a powerful voice in court for 287 abused and neglected children; the Crossroads delinquency intervention program helped 577 children choose a new path; 214 families were strengthened through the Families In Need of Services (FINS) program; 185 adolescents received substance abuse intervention through the Options Program; and 555 young students received early truancy intervention through YSB’s TASC program. These programs often are life altering for the children and the families served by the organization, and the results have a broader reaching impact on the community as a result. For more information, visit

General Local Events Local News

YSB Searching for Santas

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Youth Service Bureau provides invaluable services to at-risk youth and their families, and advocacy for children who have been victims of abuse. Since 1981, YSB has worked to provide protection and guidance for these children, paving the way to a better life.
On December 1, the non-profit’s moniker will change for a day to “Your Santa Breakfast,” with a special event hosted by Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington. The occasion will include hot breakfast, storytelling, craftmaking and visits with Santa, plus a souvenir photo to commemorate the occasion. While the event is open to the public, YSB currently is seeking community “Santas” to help make the event possible for the children served by the agency.
“For many of these children, this event will be the only opportunity they are provided to experience the joys of holiday celebrations,” said Mary Slazer, President and CEO of YSB. “In order to make this happen, we are seeking community benefactors whose generosity can help us provide complimentary admission to the children YSB serves and their siblings. No child should ever be deprived of the magic of Christmas and holiday festivities.”
Sponsorship levels range from $100 to $1,000, and event sponsors may opt to enjoy the tickets received in return for the donation, or to donate some or all to the children served by YSB.
For the public, tickets to “Your Santa Breakfast” are $15 for children, with limited reservations available. Admission for parents is free.
“Lakeview Regional Medical Center is honored to host this celebration in support of Youth Service Bureau,” said Hiral Patel, Lakeview CEO. “We’re looking forward to being part of the memories all of the children will create as they partake in the myriad of events.”
For additional information about Your Santa Breakfast sponsorship and to place reservations, visit . Seating is limited, so early reservations are recommended. Proceeds will support Youth Service Bureau’s CASA and TASC programs.
Youth Service Bureau provides advocacy, counseling, education and intervention for at-risk youth and their families in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes. YSB’s programs include CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), trained adult volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children. Judges rely on CASA Volunteers to provide information needed toward placement of children in safe and permanent homes. TASC (Truancy Assessment and Service Center) is an intervention program for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Early truancy prevention reduces the risk of delinquent behavior and drug abuse and increases the rate of academic success.

Local Events Local News Non Profit Spotlight

Annual Chef Soiree Takes Place This Weekend

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The annual Chef Soiree to benefit the Youth Service Bureau

of Washington and St. Tammany parishes is scheduled for

Sunday, March 18, at the Covington Trailhead. With more

than 60 food and beverage vendors and five bands, Chef

Soiree draws more than 3,000 patrons each spring. Proceeds

from the Northshore’s premiere event help the Youth Service

Bureau provide advocacy, counseling, education and

intervention for at-risk youth and families in the area.
“With proven success rates, the Youth Service Bureau

provides the resources needed to help at-risk youth reach

their full potential,” said Leah Brown. “ We are

proud to support YSB’s mission, as well this fun and

festive event which has served as a staple in the

Northshore community for 34 years.”

“We are continually working to help children and families

reach their full potential, leading safe, sober and joyful

lives,” said Mary Slazer, President & CEO, Youth Service

Bureau. “With the help of our partners and the outpouring

of support from members of our community surrounding Chef

Soiree, we are able to expand our services year after


The entertainment lineup for the 2018 event includes Bayou

Liberty Jazz Band, Groovy 7, Louisiana Spice, New Suit and

The Wagners. For more information on ticket purchases,

please visit

Corporate Social Responsibility means more than using a

non-profit organization as a tax write-off. It also means

correcting or eliminating practices that have a negative

impact on human and animal populations. CW

Local Events Local History Local News

Upcoming September Things In Covington

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The 7th Covington Business Resource Workshop takes place on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at the Bogue Falaya Hall in the Greater Covington Center at the Covington City Hall Building. “The Changing Workplace Social Media – and your Employees Fundamentals from Human Resources to Legal” begins with registration at 8 a.m., workshop runs from 8:30 a.m. To noon.
This workshop will provide local business owners with awareness and understanding of best practices in development of policies in managing employees use of social media in today’s changing workplace. Participants to include: Parish President Pat Brister, City Councilman Larry Rolling, Labor Attorney Michael Bush, LA SBDC at Southeastern, SCORE and Brad Schroeder of the CBA. The business resource workshop is free and open to the public, refreshments donated by the CBA.
Hosted by The Covington City Council Economic Development Committee and the City of Covington.

For additional details, contact Councilman Larry Rolling, District D, Council Economic Development Committee Chairman at For additional information or to register for this free workshop, visit or Registration is recommended as seating is limited. Covington City Hall is located at 317 North Jefferson Avenue.
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Flood the Love & fill a box of hope to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey!
Heritage Bank of St. Tammany is partnering with Northshore Vineyard Church and Convoy of Hope in an effort to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Stop by the Covington Branch, pick up a box (Box of Hope), follow the instructions and return the box. It will then go to the church for proper delivery to the affected areas. For more information, call (985) 892-4565

KCB River Clean Up Scheduled Sept. 30

The annual KCB Bogue Falaya River Sweep Litter Clean Up takes place Saturday, September 30, 2017 from 9 a.m. To Noon. Volunteers and Paddlers will meet at Menetre (4th Avenue) Boat Launch for 9 a.m. Personal flotation devices are required for all paddlers. KCB will provide litter grabbers, gloves and trash bags. There will be a picnic at the Bogue Falaya Park Small Pavilion for volunteers and paddlers after the clean-up.

Volunteers and paddlers are asked to bring their own canoe or kayak as there are a limited number of canoes available. Sign up by September 20, 2017 to reserve your space. Event day volunteers are needed at this time. For more information, caall (985) 867-3652 or email

The 22nd JDC Bar Association sponsors this annual event, benefiting the Youth Service Bureau’s programs of advocacy, counseling, education, and intervention for at-risk youth and families in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes.

Event is Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 7 a.m. Ticket information:

Local Events Local History Local News

33rd Annual Chef Soiree March 19, 2017

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The annual Chef Soiree presented by Chevron to benefit the Youth Service Bureau of Washington and St. Tammany parishes is scheduled for Sunday, March 19 at Covington Trailhead. With over 70 food and beverage vendors and four bands, Chef Soiree draws more than 3,000 patrons each spring. Proceeds from the Northshore’s premiere event help the Youth Service Bureau provide advocacy, counseling, education and intervention for at-risk youth and families in the area.
“We believe in contributing to the communities where we live and work,” said Leah Brown, Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico public affairs manager. “Year after year, Chef Soiree provides much needed support for at-risk youth and their families. We are proud to partner with the Youth Service Bureau as they work to help young men and women reach their full potential.”
“The need for our programs and services has continued to grow throughout the years,” said Mary Slazer, President & CEO of the Youth Service Bureau. “We are so fortunate to once again host this event and see so much excitement and support for the youth and families we serve.”
The entertainment lineup for the 2017 event includes The Wagners, Jojjo Wight’s New Orleans Family Band, The Dominos and Groovy 7.  For more information on ticket purchases, please visit  Event takes place Sunday, March 19, 5-9 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire St.

Local Events Local News

Coffee With Mayor Cooper Recap

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Mayor Cooper Highlights 2017 City Events

Wednesday was a beautiful morning for Coffee With Mayor Cooper at the Covington Trailhead Museum. The room was packed, and Mayor Cooper discussed some of the upcoming events in 2017.
The Lions Club Parade, Covington’s family oriented day parade, is getting an upgrade.  Patrick McKnight, the Covington Lions Club Chairman, invites participants to the 58th Annual Mardi Gras Day Parade!  This year’s theme is “Playtime.”  The 2017 Covington Lions Club Honorary Grand Marshall is Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, and you could be right there along with him.
After the parade, be sure to catch the merriment at the Covington Trailhead with an awards ceremony for the floats and antique cars.  Music, food and fun await at Carnival in Covington 2017, a family Fat Tuesday tradition.  To pick up an application, or for more information, contact Kirstie at the Department of Cultural Arts, phone number 985-892-1873.  The Krewe of Olympia parade  rolls on Saturday, February 18, 2017.
The Mayor mentioned a couple of March events, a St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 11, presented by the Covington Celtic Club and ending near Jewel’s Cigar & Briar.  Also happening in March is the Youth Service Bureau annual fundraiser, Chef Soiree.  This event will again take place at the Covington Trailhead with some of the best restaurants on the Northshore participating.
April brings some of Downtown’s most popular events, with the return of Rockin’ the Rails (Line up will be posted as soon as it’s finalized by the City!), St. Tammany Art Association’s Spring For Art, and of course, A Taste of Covington, both taking place the second week/weekend of April!  The Covington Heritage Foundation Antiques Festival returns the third weekend of April also, and the OnStage at the Fuhrmann series continues through 2017.
Mayor Cooper turned the floor over to Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz with regard to the Police’s Department’s award from the Metropolitan Crime Commission.  The MCC awarded the Department the Excellence in Law Enforcement Award in recognition of Operation Angel, a drug abatement and crime prevention initiative.  The award was received January 24, 2017.  Chief Lentz noted that over 100 people have been helped by the program, and crime is down %14 overall for 2016.

Mayor Cooper Discusses Road Projects

Mayor Cooper’s informal meeting also included some important information about the much anticipated road work projects around Covington.  He related that the contractor working on the 15th Avenue Bridge at Mile Branch gave assurances that it would be completed at the end of this week(!), when the official notification is given from the City, Covington Weekly will update.
With regard to the Washout Project on 15th, Mayor Cooper stated that Open Bidding begins February 8, and Bids are selected by DOTD.  Cooper also noted that the culverts would be replaced to increase capacity, with the project focusing on DOTD upgrades as opposed to FEMA requirements.  The Mayor also informed the audience that Councilman Wright is hosting a meeting for River Forest Residents at Kehoe France on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, with regard to that project and other street paving projects.
Mayor Cooper reported that the Highway 21 Bridge Project is on schedule, with State projections for a finish date at late Spring/ early Summer;  Cooper added that his projections were late summer, to the agreement and amusement of those in the audience skeptical of road work finish dates.

Public Feedback at Coffee With Cooper

Two separate issues discussed as questions from the audience included incidents of speeding in and near the Savannahs Subdivision, and sewerage infrastructure.
The speeding problem stems from the fact that the neighborhood is used as a cut-through when it should be local access only.  Mayor Cooper noted that the speed limit was dropped to 20 mph, stop signs were added, and patrols increased, but there are still speeders.
In other areas of the country, police departments have installed a speed check with a camera that will take a picture of the license plate and automatically send a ticket to the speeding vehicle.  While this method has been contested depending on the application, it seems both a reasonable and feasible solution to a continuing problem that has not been solved by traditional and previously mentioned measures.
The sewerage infrastructure issue is a common one in the city ever since the flooding of March 2016.  Other factors affecting sewerage and plumbing infrastructure include root intrusion, common in areas with many trees.

City of Covington Special Municipal Election

The City of Covington holds a special Municipal Election to fill the Council Seat formerly held by Lee Alexius, who passed away last year.  Mr. Alexius is remembered as a family man, dedicated council member and founding member of the Covington Heritage Foundation, among many other contributions to the community.  The qualifying candidates in the March 25th election are Trey Blackall, Jerry Coner and Patrick McMath.

Local Events Local News Non Profit Spotlight

MK Foundation Blue Jeans Ball & Battle of the Bands at the Covington Trailhead Saturday, March 12, 2016

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The MK Foundation’s second annual Blue Jeans Ball and Battle of the Bands takes place at the Covington Trailhead on Saturday, March 12, 2016 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The event features a live auction, open bar and food tent, Lost in the 60’s vs. Boogie Falaya, a cooking competition, and a dance competition.  This event will benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana – Covington Unit, the Youth Service Bureau, the Covington Police Department and the Covington Fire Department.


blue jean ball 2016

Local Events Local News Non Profit Spotlight

Art Association Partners with Service Bureau in Chef Soiree 2016 Poster Selection

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For the first year ever, the Youth Service Bureau, in partnership with the St. Tammany Art Association, will select the artist for the 2016 Chef Soirée poster through a public contest. The annual Chef Soirée poster is a collectable item, and it also serves as the backdrop for all of the event’s promotional materials. The contest is now open to all artists of St. Tammany and Washington parishes. Submissions are due by Monday, August 24, 2015 at 5PM. Download the contest guidelines at, or for more information, submit questions to

YSB STAA Chef Soiree 2The Chef Soirée draws more than 3,000 patrons to Covington’s Bogue Falaya Park each spring to enjoy some of the best food, drink and entertainment the Northshore has to offer. Proceeds from the event help the Youth Service Bureau provide advocacy, counseling, education and intervention for at-risk youth and families in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes.

Local Events Non Profit Spotlight

Youth Service Bureau’s Chef Soiree 2015

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This year's poster artist is Covington local Suzanne King.

This year’s poster artist is Covington local Suzanne King.

The 31st annual fundraiser for the Youth Service Bureau, Chef Soirée, returns to Bogue Falaya Park on March 15th from 5 – 9 pm. Taste specialties from dozens of the best restaurants in the region and enjoy music and fireworks at the end of the night. A special raffle will also be held – take a chance to win a 2015 Ford Mustang donated by Banner Ford of Mandeville, among many other prizes! Only 2,500 tickets will be sold. Winner need not be present to win.

Visit for ticket information and to learn more about the event.

Learn more about the Youth Service Bureau by visiting

Local News

Local Law Enforcement Spreads Holiday Cheer – CPD, STPSO Extend Helping Hands for the Holidays

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Covington Police Department CPD sealOn Tuesday December 23, the Covington Police Department went throughout the City of Covington handing out 100 dollar bills, thanks to the generous gift of an anonymous donor.

Shop with a Cop - St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office

Shop with a Cop – St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office held its first “Shop With a Cop” event in Slidell Saturday December 20. The event was a tremendous success, and plans are already underway to make it an annual tradition. Sheriff’s Office employees committed to sponsoring approximately 65 children. The children were all referred to the Sheriff’s office by the Youth Service Bureau. “Words cannot express what this meant to these children and our employees,” Sheriff Jack Strain said.


Local Events Non Profit Spotlight

30th Annual Chef Soiree Sunday, March 16th

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Chef Soiree 2014The annual fundraiser for the Youth Service Bureau, Chef Soiree, returns to Bogue Falaya Park on March 16.  Tickets are available by calling the Youth Service Bureau or by visiting the ticket outlet located at Braswell Drugs in Covington.  Taste specialties from dozens of the best restaurants in the region and enjoy music and fireworks at the end of the night.     (985) 893-2570

Local Events

Gilsbar’s Covington Classic to Benefit Youth Service Bureau

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Covington Classic 2013 Gilsbar IncGilsbar presents the third annual Covington Classic 5k to benefit the Youth Service Bureau! The race starts at the Bogue Falaya Park this Saturday September 28th. Race day registration & number pickup is a 7 am, the one-mile race starts at 8 and the 5K starts at 8:15 am. Awards will be given for both races, and refreshments will be provided after the race. For more race information contact Cackey Haun at 985-982-3520 or at Race applications are available at

Local Events Local News Non Profit Spotlight

29th Annual Chef Soiree 2013, March 17th

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Chef Soiree 2013This Year’s Theme “Gold Glam” (Win A Pot Of Gold)

The Annual Chef Soiree to benefit the Youth Service Bureau is a highly anticipated event among locals and visitors alike. Participants can expect fantastic dishes prepared by local chefs, specialty drinks, the best in live entertainment and beautiful hand-crafted art, all culminating with a dizzying fireworks display.

This year, the Soiree falls on St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 17th. Various ‘Irish themed’ elements will be implemented in the festivities, including the Kilts of Many Colours leading the gate opening parade, and a pot of gold with a worth of $10,000 offered as the grand raffle prize. Tickets are sold in advance and not available at the gate. Go to to order tickets now online, or call the YSB at 985-893-2570.

Local Events Local News Non Profit Spotlight

Pre-Register for the Covington Classic 5K

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Gilsbar Inc. will be hosting the 2nd Annual Covington Classic 5K & Fun Run October 6th at the Bogue Falaya Park. The run will benefit the Youth Service Bureau. Pre-registration forms must be post marked by September 21st. Race registration forms are available at the Gilsbar and YSB offices, and online at

Local Events Non Profit Spotlight

Youth Service Bureau

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The Youth Service Bureau was founded in 1981 at the request of Judge John W. Greene. Today the Youth Service Bureau provides advocacy, counseling, education and intervention for at-risk youth and their families, helping them reach their full potential.  The Youth Service Bureau is a private, non-profit United Way partner agency with offices throughout St.Tammany and Washington Parishes, providing juveniles with critical delinquency intervention and prevention, outpatient adolescent substance abuse treatment, truancy reduction, and advocacy for abused and neglected children.

Youth Service Bureau Chef SoireeHelp support the Youth Service Bureau by attending the 28th annual Chef Soiree at the Bogue Falaya Park on Sunday, March 18, from 5-9 p.m.  The event will feature music by Twilight, The Hurricane Levee Band, The Wagners, Gypsy River, and the New Orleans Hornets Drumline Buzz Patrol. Follow the New Orleans Hornets Drumline as they lead the traditional gate opening parade.  General Admission is $125 per person.

Youth Service Bureau

430 N.New Hampshire St.#105