Neysa dedicated her life and work to causes she deeply believed in, including criminal justice and healthcare reform. She lived her life always striving to make things better and incorporated her passion and determination to make the world a better place in every part of her life.
Working as a social worker at Day Reporting Center in New Orleans, Neysa felt strongly about all people having an equal opportunity at a full and productive life, regardless of sex, age, race, socioeconomic class, and sexual orientation. It was hard for her knowing that not all people had a fair chance at making a life for themselves due to oppression, prejudice and structural racism that was interwoven into their experience and the fabric of our society, which was most apparent in the criminal justice system and in the mental health field.
Neysa believed firmly that people should not be defined simply by their diagnoses, charges and past mistakes, and recognized the importance of being compassionate when working with people on probation and parole. While Neysa understood that people need to be held accountable for their actions, she recognized it was critically important to take a wholistic approach, understanding the contributing factors (i.e. socioeconomic background, cycle of poverty, etc.) that led someone to be incarcerated and try to help heal and address larger macro problems within our society.
At NO/AIDS Task Force/Crescent Care, Neysa specialized in working with individuals who were HIV positive or had an AIDS diagnosis, and had been recently incarcerated and/or had a criminal background. Neysa was a guiding light for many of the individuals she worked with, as she was often their first link to care. Neysa met these clients during some of the darkest moments of their lives and was instrumental in helping them find hope and motivation that things could and would get better. Neysa was able to look past many of the things that had gotten in the way of these clients receiving the attention and care they need in the past and joined with her clients almost instantly with warm positive unconditional regard. This was evident in the way her clients referred to her as their "angel" and "saving grace". Neysa fought tooth and nail to advocate for her client's rights within the healthcare and justice system and assisted many of her clients who were released from Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) with finding stable housing and nutritional assistance, in addition to making sure they maintained medical adherence.
Most recently, Neysa had completed her certification training to be an official volunteer with the Orleans Parish Police (OPP) Department Mobile Crisis Unit Team. Neysa selflessly volunteered several hours a week to ride around with OPP and assist with responding to mental health crisis. Neysa assisted with de-escalating vulnerable individuals who were in danger of hurting themselves or others. Neysa provided crisis intervention to those in dire need of assistance and support.
From her countless hours working in the trenches, Neysa recognized that at a certain point criminal justice and healthcare reform needed to come from the top.
We thank you for your love and support.