Several resources are available for low income families in Louisiana from their local community action agency. Case managers will work with individuals to help them overcome any financial challenges they may be facing. Clients may be able to apply for emergency grants for basic needs such as housing or energy bills. However the focus is on helping families gain new skills, find a job, and work towards self-sufficiency.
While the demand for assistance is high, and resources are limited, some of what may be available in Louisiana is as follows. Priority is often given to people on the verge of homelessness, or families with young children and senior citizens.
Many of the agencies are HUD-Approved Housing Counseling centers. Some centers can provide low cost or free housing and foreclosure counseling to homeowners. Renters can receive information on eviction prevention services. Those consumers who are seeking financing, eviction prevention, or help with maintaining, renting, or buying a home should call a community action agency. Staff are certified by the federal government and are trained by HUD to counsel those seeking stability and permanent housing.
Affordable Housing Programs, which can include low interest loans or grants, or offered by many agencies in partnership with the government. Locations will offer down payment assistance and maybe help with paying closing costs to first-time homebuyers. Counselors will coordinate this process with other regional and state housing counseling and mortgage assistance programs to help qualified buyers become first-time homeowners. Many locations are also HUD certified organizations.
Most community action agencies offer some form of outreach and referral. They provide information on availability of services offered by the government and other non-profit agencies in your immediate parish area. Get information on resources such as Welfare from the Department of Children and Family Services, SNAP (Food Stamps), Social Security, free Legal Aid and Community Services in Louisiana, and Employment opportunities. When needed, referrals are made to low income qualified clients who are seeking assistance.
The referrals given from the community action agencies on public aid incorporate both state of Louisiana and federal government entitlement programs. A family faced with poverty will often benefit from both as they often need multiple sources of aid, and this is why the service can be arranged. Households of any income level can find information on public aid programs that may address their crisis.
VITA, or the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, is a free tax preparation service in Louisiana that is offered in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service. Thousands of residents receive help in preparing and filing their income taxes every year. Staff will ensure that people receive benefits that they are entitled too, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and others. The federal EITC is a refundable income tax credit for lower income and working poor individuals and families to offset the burden of Social Security taxes. The credit also indirectly provides them with an incentive to work.
If someone uses this service and qualify for a tax refund, counselors will also try to educate clients and provide financial literacy training. This can include asset building. Rather than provide local families with government assistance and/or a safety net, the approach taken is to move people out of poverty to self-sufficiency and help individuals focus on the ability to accumulate assets.
The Revolving Loan for Small Business Development and Expansion can be an important tool for low-income people to leave poverty. It is a resource that can lead to economic development and self-sufficiency. The program can provide qualified individuals with low interest loans to help them either start or expand a business. A new or growing business can lead to full-time jobs with adequate wages. Strong health and other benefits are also a priority for many families in Louisiana.
Emergency assistance and vouchers can be provided from grants that may be offered from agencies such as the United Way, FEMA, and LDOL. The programs can provide assistance on a one-time basis to working poor, unemployed, and other clients who have suffered a loss due in income to circumstances beyond their control.
Food for Families includes canned goods and food baskets for people and children in need. Many of these programs rely on donations from the community, so food drives are held during the year by many churches and non-profit agencies in order to help meet the demand for healthy and low cost food assistance. Sometimes this aid may be provided in the form of vouchers. Regardless, any support provided is intended for low-income families so they can maintain a balanced diet and this can go a long way to helping them reduce the risk of malnutrition.
LaCHIP and Medicaid services and applications may be provided, often in agreement with the State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. As part of the application process, potential clients will need to meet with Eligibility and/or Service Coordinators in order to process their application. The federal government Medicaid program is a form of public health insurance that provides preventative and primary health care to low-income families. In addition, it can help by offering long-term care to persons with disabilities and senior citizens. The other option of Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program, or LaCHIP, provides medical and health care coverage for free to uninsured children younger than nineteen years of age.
Some parishes may have a Pharmaceutical Access Program. When available, these are usually offered between your local community action agency and clinics or prescription drug manufacturers. They were established in attempt to bring affordable medications to qualified clients without delay. Resources are often located at your nearby Community Health Care Clinic, and the programs have really transformed how the elderly, indigent, disabled and working poor can access and pay for the medications they need to stay healthy.
Many non-profits also work with other organizations and companies as part of the Patient Assistance Program (PAP). Case managers will work with local physicians, pharmacists, and advocates in directing patients to resources so that they can qualify for free or low-cost medication that will be issued directly from pharmaceutical companies based on their qualifying requirements.
Occasional holiday programs, such as Toys for Tots, may be coordinated. Agencies can work with the United State Marine Corps or Salvation Army in an effort to provide toys to children of families on public assistance. These Christmas programs are especially important to single moms who might otherwise have to see their children do without toys, clothes, or gifts for Christmas. Many agency staff, volunteers, and charities donate goods and help ensure these are successful.
Homeless assistance programs offer individuals the opportunity to make the transition out of poverty. Case managers also provides social and maintenance assistance. Self-sufficiency and increased income are also key to ending homelessness, so individuals can receive training and other support.
The Summer Food Service Program offers nutrition and organized play to students and children during the summer months. This helps provide nutrition when students do not have access to free school breakfasts or lunches.
Louisiana Head Start is a federal government created program for preschool children, infants and their families and parents. This resource is only for those whose income falls at or below certain federal government income guidelines. The program also includes children who have been determined to have a disability, whether learning or physical.
The program is operated by a team of teachers and highly trained professionals. They will offer clients a wide variety of experiences and support. Head Start works with both the child and the family in order to provide a them with access to various educational activities and social services. The children can receive free medical and dental care, indoor activities, healthy nutritious meals and snacks, and more. As indicated, services are also offered to meet the special needs of Louisiana children with disabilities.
The state provides children with support and activities that help them grow socially, mentally, emotionally and physically. Case managers and staff realize that the first and most important teachers of the children are their parents, so they need to participate and some assistance is targeted at them as well. For example, Head Start staff can enroll parents in job training, or help them apply for public aid.
Early Head Start is very similar. It provides comprehensive early childhood development, health care and family support services to children, but they need to be age 0-3. Support is also offered for pregnant women. This is done in order to enhance children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development. The program also supports parents in fulfilling their parental roles and helps them move toward self-sufficiency.
Community Services Block Grant includes funds that are received by Louisiana from the federal government. The funds may be used to create and support other programs initiated by each and every community action agency. Some of what may be offered includes homeless prevention (including rent help), employment services, food, and resources for children and seniors. However each center may use the grant for their own needs.
Weatherization services help to provide energy bill savings to low income families. It can pay for insulation to sustain homes, insures houses against harsh weather conditions, and reduces the impact of higher fuel and utility costs on low-income families. Focus is on the elderly, children and handicapped in Louisiana. Other activities that can be coordinated by your community action agency include weather stripping, installing insulation, caulking installing storm windows, and other critical improvements to conserve energy.
The LIHEAP Energy Assistance Program can assist eligible families with paying their utility bills, including heating and air conditioning. People can apply at community action agencies. It will provide a onetime grant to households in Louisiana, and funds are used for regular bills. When a family is faced with a shut off or disconnection, then a crisis component is offered. The big difference in the crisis component is that the funds or credits will be disbursed to the family in less time than regular LIHEAP.
Transitional Housing for Veterans is provided. This will offer them a place to stay while they work towards self-sufficiency, obtain employment, and find stabilization. The transitional housing units are important to providing veterans and their family’s time gain new skills or meaningful employment.
The Job Training Partnership Program is offered in partnership with many non-profits, local businesses and government agencies. The main purpose is to increase the employability of economically disadvantaged adults and youths. It coordinates and can lead to the development of good work habits and basic work skills. Access services such as resume review, job search, counseling, and sign up for workshops on computer training.
The Louisiana Workforce Investment Act can provide unemployed and qualified individuals with various services, including skills training and information on job opportunities. Clients of a nonprofit community action agency, or enrollees in the WIA, can get information and access to resources to help them find a job. Sign up for career counseling and other support. Increasing employment and income is a key to overcoming poverty. Some people may also qualify for training and scholarship vouchers. Click here.
Allen Action Agency, Inc.
Mailing address - P.O. Box 540
Oberlin, Louisiana 70655
Telephone: (337) 639-4348
ASSIST Agency, Inc.
P.O. Box 1404
Crowley, LA 70527-1404
Telephone number is (337) 788-7550
This is one of the main community action agencies in Louisiana. A number of low income assistance programs are offered for residents. Apply for resources such as LIHEAP or health insurance. Employment services are offered too. Supports counties/parishes of Acadia, Vermillion, and Jefferson Davis Louisiana. Learn more.
Assumption Parish Police Jury
Address - P O Box 520
Napoleonville, LA 70390
Avoyelles Progress Action Committee, Inc.
Mailing address - P.O. Box 527
Marksville, LA 71351
Call (318) 253-6085
Focuses on energy bill assistance (LIHEAP) and weatherization, but other programs are offered as well to those who qualify. Regions include Avoyelles, Point Coupee, and Evangeline. The CSBG annual grant program can provide for job training, housing, and other support. More Avoyelles Progress Action Committee.
Beauregard Community Action Association, Inc.
Address is P.O. Box 573
DeRidder, LA 70634
Telephone: (337) 463-7263
Bossier Office of Community Services, Inc.
700 Benton Road
Bossier City, LA 71111
Telephone: (318) 747-1045
Supports both Bossier, Claiborne, Union and Morehouse parish. Assistance includes grants for paying energy bills as part of LIHEAP as well as referrals to low income housing or rent programs. Free food and applications for state of Louisiana and federal benefits are offered. Additional details on Office of Community Services programs.
CADDO Community Action Agency
Address: PO Box 3446
Shreveport, Louisiana 71108
Call (318) 861-4808 for intake
Some of what may be available includes Family Support Services, vouchers for the homeless, emergency rental, utility bill, or deposit assistance as well as food programs. Continue.
Calcasieu Parish Community Services
P.O. Box 3171
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Telephone: (337) 721-4020 or dial (337) 437-3397
The non-profit administers numerous social services in Louisiana. Learn more.
Cameron Community Action Agency
965 Highway 384
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70607-8701
Call (337) 598-5158
Job training is offered for the low income and unemployed. Or apply for government assistance such as Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program/LaCHIP and other aid.
Cenla Community Action Committee, Inc. – Rapides County
1335 Jackson Street
Alexandria, LA 71301
Telephone: (318) 487-5878
City of Baton Rouge/Office of Social Services
Location of office - 4523 Plank Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70805
Primary phone - (225) 358-4561
A government affiliated community action agency. Financial aid is from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, free pantries, low income housing, and more. Click here.
Claiborne Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services
Mailing location is P.O. Box 569
Homer, Louisiana 71040
Telephone number - (318) 927-3557
Delta Community Action Association, Inc.
P. O. Box 352
Tallulah, LA 71284-0352
Telephone: (318) 574-2130
Covers both Madison and Richland parish.
Desoto Office of Community Services
Mailing address - P.O. Box 1410
Mansfield, LA 71052
Offers LIHEAP and weatherization assistance in several parishes, including DeSoto, Red River, Sabine, Bienville, Bossier, Claiborne, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Union, and Webster
East Carroll Community Action Agency
P.O. Box 486
Lake Providence, LA 71254
Call for information on resources, grants, and assistance programs offered. Also make an appointment with a case manager to explore options available to you and your family.
Evangeline Community Action Agency
403 W. Magnolia Street
Ville Platte, LA 70586
Call (337) 363-1306 for information and hours.
Iberville Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services
Mailing address is P.O. Box 389
Plaquemine, Louisiana 70765-0389
Telephone: (225) 687-5243
Jefferson Community Action Programs
1221 Elmwood Park Boulevard, Suite 402
Jefferson, LA 70123
Telephone number is (504) 736-6900
Emergency Crisis Intervention can help with electric and air conditioning bills for the disabled and low income. The community action agency also operates Head Start in Louisiana, can refer clients to grant programs for deposits, transitional housing and more. Find JEFFCAP community action programs.
Lafourche Parish Office of Community Action
P.O. Box 425
Mathews, LA 70375-0425
Dial (985) 537-7603
LaSalle Community Action Association, Inc.
Mailing address is P.O.Box 730
Harrisonburg, LA 71340
Telephone number: (318) 744-5445
Unemployed and working poor can call this non-profit for referral and support. Homeless prevention and housing counseling is offered. Emergency grants from LIHEAP can be provided for cooling or heating bills. Parishes supported are Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, Franklin, Grant, LaSalle, Tensas, Winn, East Carroll, Jackson, Madison, Ouachita, Richland, and West Carroll. Click here.
Lincoln Parish Police Jury
307 N. Homer St.
Ruston, LA 71273-0979
Telephone: (318) 251-5136
Call for information on Head Start and other resources for children and seniors.
Macon Economic Opportunity, Inc.
P.O. Drawer 370
Oak Grove, LA 71263
West Carroll parish.
Natchitoches Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services
Address: P.O. Box 799
Natchitoches, Louisiana 71458-0799
Phone - (318) 357-2220
Parishes supported - Bienville, Jackson, Natchitoches
Ouachita Multi-Purpose Community Action Program
Location is P.O. Box 3086
Monroe, Louisiana 71210-3086
Call (318) 322-7151
Pine Belt Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency, Inc.
PO Box 508
Jonesboro, LA 71251
Serves residents in the parishes of Jackson, Beinville, Morehouse, Red River, Sabine, and Winn.
Plaquemines Parish Community Action Agency
Mailing address: P.O. Box 399
Belle Chasse, LA 70037
Call (504) 392-9567 for intake
Quad Area Community Action Agency, Inc.
45300 North Baptist Road
Hammond, LA 70401
Phone - (225) 567-2350
Resources from the non-profit can help people gain self-sufficiency. Some of what may provided includes Head Start and housing counseling. Or learn about emergency grants for basic needs, such as food or rent. Region covered is Ascension, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Washington, West Feliciana, West Baton Rouge, and St. Helena parish. Find more details on community action in Quad Area.
St. Bernard Parish Government - Department of Human Resources
8201 W. Judge Perez Drive
Chalmette, LA 70043
St. Charles Parish Department of Community Services
P.O. Box 169
New Sarpy, LA 70078
Main contact information is (985) 764-7944
St. James Parish Department of Human Resources
P.O. Box 87
Convent, LA 70723
Telephone number - (225) 562-2304
St. John Community Action Agency
P.O. Box 2108
Reserve, LA 70084
Serves the parishes and counties of St. John, Assumption, St. Charles, St. James, and St. Landry Parish.
St. Landry Parish Community Action Agency
Mailing address - P.O. Drawer 1510
Opelousas, LA 70570-1510
Tele - (337) 948-3651
St. Martin, Iberia, Lafayette Community Action Agency (SMILE CAA)
Mailing address - P.O. Box 3343
Lafayette, Louisiana 70502
Call (337) 234-3272 for information and intake.
Parish supported is Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, St. Martin, and Acadia. The agency can enroll people into weatherization, and coordinate home delivery of meals to seniors and the disabled. Applications for SNAP food stamps, LIHEAP in Louisiana, and disability can be provided by referrals, as well as other financial aid and support. Continue with SMILE community action programs.
St. Mary Community Action Agency, Inc. – Also supports Vermilion
1407 Barrow Street PO Box 271
Franklin, LA 70538
Main telephone - (337) 828-5705
St. Tammany Parish Department of Community Action
Mailing address - P.O. Box 1609
Slidell, LA 70459-1609
Phone - (985) 646-2090
Financial assistance and general self-sufficiency services are available for the regions of Plaquemines, St. Tammy, and St. Bernard. Security deposit and rent help is from homeless prevention and rapid rehousing. Other programs are LIHEAP or food stamp applications and other benefits. Click more information.
Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government
Mailing address - P.O. Box 6097
Houma, LA 70361
Total Community Action, Inc.
Location of office - 1420 S. Jefferson Davis Parkway
New Orleans, LA 70125
Telephone: (504) 872-0330
Thousands of families in Orleans parish receive help from this non-profit. A focus is on meeting housing and rent needs. Other support can include food and medical care, as well as referrals to public assistance. Other programs may include funds for paying a security deposit or loan for rental expense, free weatherization, and information on government benefits in Louisiana. More on Total Community Action agency resources.
Union Community Action Association, Inc.
Location - P.O. Box 520
Farmerville, LA 71241
Vernon Community Action Council
12286 Lake Charles Highway
Leesville, Louisiana 71446
Call (337) 404-7710
Suuports regions of Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Vernon.
Webster Parish Community Action Agency
Minden, LA 71058-0876
Call - (318) 377-7022
West Baton Rouge Parish Council
Mailing address is P.O. Box 757
Port Allen, Louisiana 70767
Telephone number is (225) 381-9931