Former Saints linebacker and Pro Football Hall of Famer Rickey Jackson, Jefferson Parish, the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation, the Archdiocese of New Orleans and the New Orleans Saints announced the New Orleans Saints Courage House at the Rickey Jackson Community Hope Center on Friday at the former Hope Haven Center in Marrero, La.
The Rickey Jackson Community Hope Center will provide professional mental health counseling, educational training, abusive behavior management therapy, nurturing, mentoring and hope for abused, neglected and at-risk children in the New Orleans area as part of the Courage House National Support Network. The Center is the 23rd within the Courage House Network in the United States.
The Courage House National Support Network was established in 1989 by the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation in partnership with the NFL, NFL Charities, the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS), the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), NFL Films, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and NFL Alumni.
The partnership demonstrates a commitment by all parties to heightening awareness of child abuse while working to help improve the lives of affected children.
Jackson, a 1990 Ed Block Courage Award recipient, has spent years working towards the opening with help from partners and sponsors.
"I want to thank Jefferson Parish and everyone that has been so helpful with the New Orleans Saints Courage House at the Rickey Jackson Community Hope Center," said Jackson. "I received tremendous support in this process and now the Center can provide help and support to our children here in the New Orleans area."
The announcement was introduced by the Helen Cox High School band and choir and came with the help of members of the Jefferson Parish Government, including Parish President John Young, as well as representatives from the NFLPA, NFL Alumni, the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation, the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Louisiana Office of Children Services and Dillard University.
Saints Head Athletic Trainer Scottie Patton and Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Joe Vitt also joined Jackson for the announcement.
"This is a very exciting day for Rickey, the New Orleans Saints and Jefferson Parish," said Vitt. "This center is really going to help children in our community and I am very happy to have a Courage House in New Orleans."