Cash Money Records founders Bryan "Birdman" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams have donated over $225,000 to the non-profit organization Forward Together New Orleans. Their contribution will be put towards covering rent for the month of June for hundreds of tenants living in the communities of Scattered Sites Harmony Oaks, Marrero Commons, and Guste.
These housing projects were known as Magnolia, Calliope, and Melpomene when Birdman and Slim were growing up.
In April, Birdman suggested that he wanted to help people living in uptown New Orleans with their rent for May.
"New Orleans made us and is part of who we are," Slim said in a press release obtained by Complex. "We are devastated that this pandemic is hitting our community there so hard and we are committed to doing what we can to help now and in the long term."
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a domino effect among Americans who have been laid off or furloughed. According to CNN, over 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since businesses started closing down in March. These uncertain times have forced some families to make tough financial decisions where they must consider paying their monthly rent or putting that money towards other necessities, like food.
“The legacy of Cash Money belongs to the city of New Orleans. There’s nothing more important to us than giving back to the brothers and sisters who live on those same streets we grew up on - from musicians to service workers to everyday working families," Birdman said.
While the state of Louisiana has temporarily suspended evictions and the stoppage of utility services due to financial hardships related to the COVID-19 crisis, these payments will still need to be made eventually.